BOX 6-2 Fair Labor Standards Act Rules for Hours Worked in Agricultural Jobs
percent of 16-year-olds and 65 percent of 17-year-olds who are not in school are not working, either.3
It has also been suggested that limiting the hours of work may make it more difficult for teens to find jobs. Often, when employment of a particular group is made more difficult or more costly for employers, the employment level of that group declines. However, the experience in Washington state suggests that this may not necessarily be the case for young people. In 1992, Washington state changed its child labor laws to impose a 20-hour per week, 4-hour per day limitation on 16-and 17-year-olds during the school year. The Washington state law also prohibits 16-and 17-year-olds from working past 10:00 p.m. on a night preceding a schoolday. A 1994 study by the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries (Department of Labor and Industries, 1994) found no decrease in the number of jobs available to minors following the new law. Only 15 percent of employers reported negative effects from the change.