Although children’s primary job is to go to succeed in school and to learn as much as they can to be able to go out into the world and to successfully stand on their own, working and earning money is also a valuable lesson to learn.
As much as it is important for children to understand what it means to work hard and earn a paycheck, they are not legally allowed to work before a certain age. In Florida, children can work with permission and with restrictions from age 14 but cannot work an unlimited mumber of hours until they are 16.
Children can work but businesses should not take advantage of them
There are some tasks that children are not allowed to do and there can be many potential hazards at work, depending on the products and services of that particular business. For example, in a bakery or deli, heavy, sharp machines are an essential part of that business. Before a certain age, the person is not allowed to operate those machines; there is a liability issue for the business otherwise.
The U.S. government has laws that protect children from business owners who think nothing of using them unethically and unfairly. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and standards for youth employment, is one of those laws. There are many cases in which it is determined that a business is violating one or more of those aspects of the agreement between the business owner and the employee (youth). In some cases, it is even determined that the employee is not being paid at all.
Protecting your rights by obtaining legal support
If you have been the victim of a similar situation, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you to navigate the process and will support you every step of the way. It is important for you to protect your rights and to ensure that nobody is allowed to take advantage of you or of your loved one. Legal representation may be the only way that you are able to protect yourself and your rights. If that is the case, it is the right course of action.