If your child is like a lot of Florida teens, they’ve already entered or are considering entering the part-time or temporary workforce. Businesses of all sizes rely on teens for extra help during the busy spring and summer tourist seasons, around the holidays and year-round to supplement their full-time workforces.
What many teens, their parents and sometimes even their employers don’t realize is that minors (those under 18) have the same rights when it comes to a safe and healthy workplace, proper safety training and protocols and even workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured or become ill as a result of their work.
Protections under state and federal law
Employers have to abide by additional restrictions regarding the hours minors can work and the jobs they’re allowed to do. These are detailed in the Florida Child Labor Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If a minor is injured on the job when an employer is in violation of our child labor law, that child qualifies for double the amount of workers’ comp benefits they’d otherwise receive – at the employer’s expense.
Of course, the best-case scenario is that your child’s employer has a commitment to a safe, healthy working environment for all of their employees – adults and minors. However, it’s important for teens and their parents to understand that if they are injured or made ill on the job, they have a right to seek workers’ compensation without fear of retaliation from their employer. These benefits cover medical expenses and help make up for lost wages.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s ability to get the workers’ comp benefits to which they’re entitled, it’s wise to seek legal guidance.