The Wisconsin Senate has sent a proposed bill to lengthen the allowed workday for teens under age 16 back to the floor for the Assembly to review.
Senate Bill 332 would allow employees under age 16 to work until 9:30 p.m. before a school day and until 11 p.m. when they don’t have school the next day. Under current law, 14 and 15-year-olds are not allowed to work past 9 p.m. between May 31 and Labor Day, shortened to 7 p.m. outside summer months.
The bill would also allow them to start their working days earlier at 6 a.m. instead of the current limit of 7 a.m. It would not change the current federal regulations that limit teenage employees to three hours of work on a school day, eight hours on non-school days, and six total days of work per seven-day week period.
Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale released a statement on Senate Bill 332:
“The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO opposes Senate Bill 332 as it continues the slippery slope of eliminating child labor protections. The reality is that this bill would likely affect few children; however, if this bill affects one child – that is one child too many. For over 150 years, Wisconsin has protected children who work through the passage and enforcement of state laws that ensure children do not work long and late shifts. All of Wisconsin’s 14- and 15-year-old children are owed the same level of protection that our state has provided to teenage workers in the past.”