Beginning in the 1840’s with the establishment of copper and iron mines and continued emphasis on agriculture, child labor was very prevalent. Michigan was one of the last states to enact child labor legislation. The Youth Employment Standards Act of 1978 established the current Michigan Child Labor Law.
Currently, the Michigan Child Labor Law states that those under the age of 14 are prohibited from working in order to maintain their development in all areas, including physical, mental, and emotional. Exceptions to this rule apply when there is a supervising adult present. Those children, ages 11 to 14, may work as athletic referees at sporting events for age groups younger than the individual. Eleven year olds may work as caddies for golf or bridge. Those 13 and older may work setting traps for clay shooting events. Minors under 12 may work non-hazardous during non-school hours on small farms which do not meet the requirements to pay federal minimum wage. Minors of any age may work any job at any time if the work is on a farm operated or owned by a parent or guardian.
Minors in this age group may work in certain jobs, but not ones considered hazardous. The list of Hazardous Occupations include the following:
Minors in this age group may not work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption.
Fifteen year olds may work as life-guards.
The Michigan Child Labor Laws state the restrictions for this age group, including:
When public school is in session:
When public school is not in session:
Minors in this age group are allowed to work in a variety of jobs, but not in those considered hazardous. The following list of Hazardous Occupations applies to all minors under the age of 17 years;
Minors 16 and 17 years old may work in businesses where alcoholic beverages constitute less than 50% of total sales, although they may not sell or serve alcohol. They may operate non-agricultural tractors and lawn mowers, work to extinguish fires with some restrictions, and take tickets for carnival rides while helping passengers board and exit attractions. They also may work as life-guards. Minors 16 and older may do all agricultural jobs.