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NYS launches campaign amid rising number of child labor violations

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has launched a new public service campaign to inform young workers of their rights and protections in the workplace. The campaign comes in response to a significant increase in child labor violations throughout the United States, with New York State seeing a 68% increase in violations in 2022 compared to the previous year.

NYSDOL’s campaign aims to educate young workers about their rights and protections under state and federal labor laws, while reminding employers of their responsibilities when hiring youth workers. The initiative will feature a multi-platform digital and social campaign, with videos on topics such as safe working conditions, minimum wage, and working on school nights being promoted and posted on all NYSDOL social media accounts and other digital platforms.

“As we see a rise in child labor violations, we are acting quickly to ensure young people know their rights and are protected in the workplace,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Violating labor laws is unacceptable, and it’s particularly egregious when it involves vulnerable workers who are just entering the world of work. This campaign will be essential to empowering and protecting New York’s workforce, and we are proud to lead the way.”

In addition to the public service campaign, NYSDOL will continue promoting resources available to businesses to help them recruit employees and ensure they have an adequate workforce. Through NYSDOL’s Business Services webpage, businesses can post job openings, learn about hiring incentives, and access free consultation services.

NYSDOL’s Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions also includes a youth team to help young people entering the workforce. Guides for young New Yorkers are available online to educate them on what they need before filling out job applications. The guides are broken down by ages 14-17 and 18-24, and cover important topics such as getting working papers, proper identification, resume preparation, and more.

It’s important to note that workers aged 14 to 17 need an employment certificate, also called working papers, in order to hold a job in New York State. There are limits to the length of shifts, time of day and the number of hours minors can work depending on their age, and if school is in session. Minors are prohibited from night work and have different restrictions than adults. Minimum wage laws apply to all workers (unless otherwise noted), including minors. Minors may not perform certain tasks or occupations deemed dangerous. These tasks and occupations are prohibited at the State and/or the Federal level.

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