On May 20, 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register expanding the list of hazardous occupations (HOs) prohibited to youths 14 to 17 years of age.

The rule builds on and amends the nonagricultural occupational standards for youths covered in the landmark Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938.

Included in new occupations prohibited for youth under 18 are the following: work at poultry-slaughtering and packaging plants and in forest firefighting, forestry services, and timber tract management; riding on a forklift as a passenger; operating selected power-driven hoists and other similar vehicles; operating balers and compacters designed or used for nonpaper goods; and operating power-driven chain saws, wood chippers, reciprocating saws and abrasive cutting discs.

Additionally, the Final Rule contains several regulations that expand the opportunity of 14- and 15-year-olds to obtain employment in the workforce and creates a new category of safe jobs.

Specifically, Regulation 3, §570.3 and §570.34 removes a 40-year restriction to limit the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds to jobs in the retail, food services, and gasoline service stations. The new regulations allow 14- and 15-year olds to perform safe tasks in other industries. Under Regulation §570.34(b), 14- and 15-year olds can hold jobs of an intellectual or artistic nature that would include computer programming, drawing, and teaching.

Personnel Concepts will continue to monitor all changes in federal and state labor law and advise you of new compliance standards such as this one.