Wisconsin to let 14-year-olds work until 11 p.m.

Wisconsin lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that would expand labor laws, allowing 14 and 15-year-olds to work until 11 p.m. on certain days in a bid to boost small businesses.

The proposed bill, SB-22, would allow the group to work between 6 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on working days before school and between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. when there is no school the next day. Insider reported. But the measure would only apply to companies exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The state currently adheres to federal guidelines which state that the group can only work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day, and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. thereafter.

Still, the measure will maintain federal laws limiting teens to six days of work per week, and will keep the hour restrictions forcing the group to 3 hours a day on school days and eight hours on non-school days.

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Senator Mary Felzkowski and Representative Amy Loudenbeck told the State Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform in June that expanding laws for young people could benefit small businesses during seasonal peaks.

“Businesses across the state are experiencing a massive increase in traffic during the summer tourist season, so much so that it can be difficult to find employees to work irregular and seasonal hours,” they said.

The measure was rejected by Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Bob Wirch, who said “children should do their homework, be in school instead of working longer hours,” adding that the extended hours could result in more curfew violations, the Wisconsin Examiner reported.

Wisconsin currently has over 3.1 million people in the workforce, according to the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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