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Equal Rights Division Newsletter - June 2019

wet floor safety coneSafe Workplaces for Teens This Summer

School's out for the summer, and summer jobs are in!

As the school year wraps up, many Wisconsin teens are preparing to start summer jobs. Here are some important things teens, employers, parents, and guardians should know so these new employees can have a safe, productive introduction to the world of work.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Equal Rights Division wants to help employers keep workplaces safe for teens through education and enforcement of the child labor laws. Employers who follow the laws get great workers, keep them safe, AND avoid costly litigation. It's easy!

work permit applicationWho Needs a Work Permit?

Almost all workers under age 16 will need a work permit. Exceptions to this requirement exist for those working in:

Previously, all workers under age 18 needed a work permit, but that requirement changed in 2017.

How Do I Get a Work Permit?

Teen workers who need a permit must obtain one after they've been hired for a job and before they begin working. Teens can get permits at Work Permit Offices throughout the state. Our web pages also explain how to obtain a work permit.

young man waiting tablesWhat are the Restrictions on Work Minors May Do?

Workers under age 16 are restricted as to the times of day they may work, as well as the number of hours they may work per day and per week. The hours limits are detailed on a Poster all employers who employ minors must post. In addition, workers under age 18 may not work longer than 6 consecutive hours without a 30-minute meal break during which they are completely relieved from duty.

It is important to note that some types of work are considered hazardous until an employee reaches a certain age. For an easy-to-read alphabetical list of these restrictions, see the Index to Prohibited or Restricted Employment.

young man working as a lifeguardLifeguards

A recent change to Wisconsin law allows minors who are at least 15 years of age to work as lifeguards, as long they have passed an approved lifesaving course and an adult employee is present on the premises when they are working.

For more information about Wisconsin's child labor laws and other laws enforced by the Equal Rights Division, visit our website

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