New Jersey has enacted legislation (Assembly Bill 4222), which amends its child labor laws. Assembly Bill 4222 is effective immediately.
Under New Jersey law, minors may:
- Work in certain occupations during the school year if they:
- Work up to five continuous hours, before needing a 30-minute lunch period.
- Work in a variety of tasks, which are not generally allowed, if they have the permission of a parent or legal guardian.
Assembly Bill 4222 amends the law to:
- Remove the requirement for special permits and physical exams (exceptions exist for newspaper carriers or those who work in certain areas of agriculture).
- Allow a minor to work continuously without a lunch break for six consecutive hours.
- Remove the parental or legal guardian permission requirement for a variety of tasks (see the text of the law for further details).
New Jersey has also clarified that 14- and 15-year-olds may work the following hours during a school week:
- Eight hours on a non-school day
- No more than three hours (non-school hours) on a school day
Note: A minor’s work hours cannot exceed 18 hours in a school week.
The law also clarifies the summer hours (ending on Labor Day) for the following workers:
- 14- and 15-year-olds may work up to 40 hours per week.
- 16- and 17-year-olds may work up to 50 hours per week and 10 hours per day.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development will also create a database for an employer and employee registry. Employers will be required to:
- Register and provide certain information to the Department about their business and the minors they employ; and
- Keep the information up to date, including the positions a minor holds.
Minors will also be required to register and submit documents and information about their eligibility to work, after which, the Department will send confirmation of the minor’s authorization to work to the employer.
Note: This process requires approval by the minor’s caregiver.
New Jersey employers that employ minors should review their employment policies and procedures for employing minors. Employers should also train HR personnel and management to help ensure compliance with Assembly Bill 4222.