Florida House Republican files bill to lift work hour restrictions for 16-and 17-year-olds

Florida House Republican Representative Linda Chaney (R-St. Pete Beach) filed Monday House Bill 49 (HB 49) which aims to lift existing restrictions on the working hours and time of day that 16-and 17-year-olds can work within the state.

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Rep. Chaney introduced HB 49 on Monday, marking the start of what promises to be a contentious debate during the 2024 legislative session.

The bill specifically targets regulations that currently prevent minors aged 16 or 17 from working before 6:30 a.m. or after 11 p.m., and limit their weekly work hours to 30 when school is in session.

One key provision of the bill aims to align the working hours of 16-and 17-year-olds with those of individuals aged 18 and above, removing existing age-based distinction in labor law.

Additionally, the proposed legislation incorporates a provision that would prohibit counties and municipalities from enacting or enforcing ordinances that impose stricter regulations than those defined by state law regarding the employment and curfew of minors.

Age restrictions for minors have been lowered to 15 years old, replacing previous regulations that only applied to 16-and 17-year-olds.

The bill is now set to undergo committee reviews and further deliberations as it progresses through the legislative process in the state of Florida.

If the bill is signed into law, it is slated to take effect on July 1, 2024.

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