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NO. 68. AN ACT RELATING TO CHILD LABOR.

(S.14)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 21 V.S.A. § 430 is added to read:

§ 430. POLICY; DEFINITIONS; RULES

(a) It is the policy of Vermont that children shall be protected from employment in harmful and dangerous occupations. Toward this end, Vermont law should reflect federal protections regarding the employment of children, but should continue to provide additional protection for children in Vermont where particular circumstances warrant greater protection for children.

(b) For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) "Child" or "children" means an individual under the age of 18 years.

(2) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and industry or the commissioner’s designee.

(3) "Employee" means any individual suffered or permitted to work by an employer.

(4) "Illegal child employment" means the employment of any child under the age of 18 in any work or occupation specifically prohibited by state or federal law. "Illegal child employment" does not include work performed by students as part of an educational program, provided this subchapter or federal law specifically permits this work.

(c) The commissioner shall adopt rules to carry out the purpose and intent of this subchapter, provided the rules are consistent with federal child labor laws and rules. However, the commissioner shall not be required to adopt or modify rules in order to conform with a change in federal child labor laws or regulations which weakens or eliminates an existing child labor protection policy.

Sec. 2. 21 V.S.A. § 431 is amended to read:

§ 431. AGE LIMIT; CERTIFICATE AS TO ELIGIBILITY OF CHILD UNDER 16

Except as provided in this subchapter, a child under 16 years of age shall not be employed in any gainful occupation unless *[such]* the child deposits with the employer a certificate from the commissioner *[of labor and industry to the effect]* that states that the child is eligible for employment in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter. However, this requirement shall not apply to any child employed during vacations or before or after sessions of school when *[such]* the employment is not otherwise prohibited by *[subsequent provisions of]* this subchapter.

Sec. 3. 21 V.S.A. § 432 is amended to read:

§ 432. —RESTRICTIONS

(a) The commissioner *[of labor and industry]* shall not issue *[such]* a certificate for a child under 16 pursuant to section 431 of this title until *[he or she]* the commissioner has received, examined, approved and filed the following papers *[duly executed]*:

(1) The school record of the child properly filled out and signed by the person in charge of the school which the child last attended, giving the *[recorded age of the child, his or her]* child’s age, address, standing in studies, rating in conduct, and attendance in days during the school year of *[his or her]* the last full year of attendance*[, and if that was not a full year, during the preceding school year]*.

(2) Evidence of the age of the child as follows:

(A) The birth certificate of the child, or a copy *[thereof]* certified by the town clerk in a town where *[such]* the certificate is a part of the public records.

(B) If *[such]* the certificate or certified copy *[thereof]* cannot be procured, a duly attested transcript of the certificate of birth or baptism or other religious record, shall be conclusive evidence of the age of the child.

(C) In case no documentary proof of age *[can be procured, the commissioner of labor and industry may receive an affidavit of]* is available, the commissioner may accept an affidavit from the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child to establish the age of the child.

(3) A certificate from a physician resident in and licensed to practice in this state showing that after a thorough examination the child is found to be physically fit to be employed in *[such occupations as are not prohibited by the provisions of this subchapter]* the proposed occupation. When a certificate is requested for the employment of a child under 16 as an actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical productions, radio or television, this provision may be waived at the discretion of the commissioner.

(4) Before a certificate approving the employment of an a child as an actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical productions, radio or television is issued by the commissioner *[of labor and industry]*, the commissioner of education must approve the substance and conditions of the educational program being provided to the child during this employment which in no case shall be more than 90 days during the school year.

(b) The commissioner shall refuse a certificate to a child under 16 years of age unless the child has completed the elementary school course, or received an equivalent education, or has been excused from further school attendance under the provisions of section 1123 of Title 16.

Sec. 4. 21 V.S.A. § 434 is amended to read:

§ 434. EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN UNDER *[SIXTEEN]* 16

A child under 16 years of age shall not be employed more than eight hours in any day, or more than six days in any week, or earlier than *[six]* seven o’clock in the morning, or after seven o’clock at night, except from June 1 through Labor Day when a child may be permitted to work until nine o’clock at night. A child under 16 years of age shall not be employed more than three hours on any day that school is in session, and not more than a total of 18 hours during any week that school is in session. However, in the case of a child employed as an actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical productions, radio or television, or employed as a baseball bat girl or bat boy, the child may be employed until midnight or after midnight if a parent or guardian and the commissioner of labor and industry have consented in writing. The department shall adopt rules regarding the permissible duties of a baseball bat girl or bat boy. The provisions of this section shall not apply to employment *[at ]* as a newspaper carrier or work connected with agriculture or domestic service.

Sec. 5. 21 V.S.A. § 435 is amended to read:

§ 435. EXAMINATION AND REPORT

When so ordered by the commissioner of education, the superintendent of schools *[within and]* for the school district where *[such]* the child under 16 resides shall examine *[such]* the child for the purpose of determining *[his]* the child’s eligibility *[to]* for employment in accordance with the provisions of sections 432 and 433 of this title and shall, upon the completion of *[such]* the examination, make a written report *[thereof]* to the commissioner of education who shall *[forthwith]* transmit a copy *[thereof]* of the report to the commissioner *[of labor and industry]*.

Sec. 6. 21 V.S.A. § 436 is amended to read:

§ 436. EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN UNDER *[FOURTEEN]* 14 YEARS

A child under *[fourteen]* 14 years of age shall not be employed, permitted or suffered to work *[in or about any mill, cannery, workshop, factory or]* *[manufacturing establishment or]* in any *[other]* gainful occupation*[. However, such a child may be employed in such other gainful occupation]* unless the occupation has been approved by the commissioner, by rule, to be appropriate for a child under the age of 14, and the employment occurs during vacation and before and after school *[in any manner not otherwise prohibited under this subchapter]*. The provisions of this section shall not apply to *[employment as an]*:

(1) Employment by a parent or a person standing in place of a parent employing his or her own child or a child in his or her custody in an occupation other than manufacturing, mining or an occupation found by the U.S. Secretary of Labor to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to their health or well-being.

(2) A newspaper carrier.

(3) An actor or performer in motion pictures, theatrical productions, radio and television.

Sec. 7. 21 V.S.A. § 437 is amended to read:

§ 437. EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN *[UNDER SIXTEEN YEARS]*; SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS; HOURS FOR CHILDREN UNDER 16 YEARS

(a) Except as provided in section 438 of this title, a child *[under the age of]* *[sixteen years]* shall not be employed, permitted or suffered to work at or on any *[of the following]* occupations, employment, operations or machines*[:

(1) Preparing any composition in which dangerous or poisonous acids, dyes or gases are used; manufacturing of paints, colors or white lead; working in a cigar factory or other factory where tobacco is manufactured or prepared, or in a brewery or distillery, or in a mine or quarry, or in a tunnel or in the building trades, or the handling of explosives;

(2) Sewing machine belts in any workshop or factory, or assisting therein in any capacity whatever; adjusting any belt to any machinery, oiling, wiping or cleaning machinery or assisting therein;

(3) Operating circular or band saws, wood shapers, wood joiners, machines used in picking wool, cotton, hair, or any upholstering material, planers, sandpaper or wool polishing machinery, picker machines, paperlacing machines, leather burnishing machines, burnishing machines in any tannery or leather manufactory, high voltage electrical machines and apparatus, job or cylinder printing presses operated by power other than foot power, emery or polishing wheels used for polishing metal, woodturning or boring machinery, stamping machines used in sheetmetal and tinware manufacturing, stamping machines in washer and nut factories, corrugating rolls such as are used in roofing and washboard factories, steam boilers, steam machinery, or other steam generating apparatus, dough brakes, or cracker machinery of any description, wood or iron straightening machinery, rolling mill machinery, punchers, or shears, washing, grinding or mixing mills, calendar rolls in rubber manufacturing, laundering machinery, crushers of stone, slate, marble or granite, railroad machinery or apparatus, including switches, any machine having an unguarded belt, elevators or hoisting machines]* determined to be hazardous, by rule, by the U.S. Secretary of Labor or the commissioner.

(b) A child under 16 years of age shall not be employed more than eight hours in any one day or more than 40 hours in any one week.

Sec. 8. 21 V.S.A. § 438 is amended to read:

§ 438. —EXCEPTIONS

A *[pupil, however, over fourteen]* child over 14 years of age, who is enrolled in a technical education program or course duly approved by the state board of education, may be legally employed in any of the occupations or operations named in section 437 of this title or other occupations or operations that may be in the estimation of *[such]* the state board of education a necessary or essential part of *[his or her]* the student’s technical education, provided that the plant, work places, machinery and other appliances and equipment used for *[such]* instruction have been inspected for safe conditions and approved by the commissioner *[of labor and industry]*.

Sec. 9. (Omitted)

Sec. 10. 21 V.S.A. § 442 is amended to read:

§ 442. POSTING NOTICES OF HOURS OF LABOR

An employer shall post in a conspicuous place in *[every room]* the place in which *[persons mentioned in sections 440 and 441 of this title are]* a child is employed, a printed notice describing permitted and prohibited operations, occupations and machines at which a child may be employed, stating the number of hours’ work *[required of them]* permitted on each day of the week, the hours of commencing and stopping work, and the hours when the time allowed for meals begins and ends. The printed forms of *[such notices]* this notice shall be provided by the commissioner *[of labor and industry]*.

Sec. 11. 21 V.S.A. § 446 is amended to read:

§ 446. DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER *[OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY]* AS TO EMPLOYMENT OF *[MINORS]* CHILDREN

*[

Such]* The commissioner *[or his agent]* may inquire of the owner or superintendent of any place or establishment, as to the employment of *[minors therein]* children, may *[call for the production of certificates deposited with such]* request to see the certificate filed with the owner or superintendent and shall *[satisfy himself]* ensure that the provisions of this subchapter have been complied with.

Sec. 12. 21 V.S.A. § 448 is amended to read:

§ 448. DUTY OF PERSON HAVING CONTROL OF CHILD

A person having control of a child shall not allow *[him]* the child to be employed contrary to a provision of this subchapter.

Sec. 13. 21 V.S.A. § 449 is amended to read:

§ 449. GENERAL PENALTY

A person who violates a provision of this subchapter for which *[other]* another penalty is not provided shall be fined not more than *[$200.00 nor less than $5.00]* $5,000.00 for each offense and, upon a subsequent conviction, may be *[so]* fined or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Sec. 14. 21 V.S.A. § 452 is amended to read:

§ 452. SUSPENSION OF SUBCHAPTER

The commissioner *[of labor and industry]*, with the approval of the governor, may suspend part or all of the provisions of this subchapter for a period not to exceed two months in any one year in the case of a manufacturing establishment or business, the materials and products of which are perishable and require immediate labor *[thereon]* to prevent decay *[thereof]* or damage *[thereto]*.

Sec. 15. 21 V.S.A. § 453 is amended to read:

§ 453. SALE OF GOODS MADE IN VIOLATION OF SUBCHAPTER

No person, partnership, corporation or association shall knowingly sell, offer or expose for sale, take orders for the future delivery of, or *[have in his possession]* possess with intent to sell any article, product or compound in the production, manufacture or distribution of which children have been employed in violation of the provisions of this subchapter, or in a manner or under conditions that would be in violation of *[such]* these provisions if *[such]* the employment had occurred in this state. Any complaint alleging a violation of this section shall be filed with the commissioner *[of labor and industry]*, who shall *[make such investigation thereof as he deems necessary]* investigate, and if *[he believes there is]* the commissioner determines there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations, shall transmit the complaint to the attorney general or to the state’s attorney of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. A person*[, partnership, corporation or association]* who violates a provision of this section shall be fined not more than *[$ 2,000.00]* $10,000.00.

Sec. 16. REPEAL

The following sections in Title 21 are repealed:

(1) § 433, relating to necessity of elementary school course.

(2) § 440, relating to manufacturing and mechanical establishments; hours of labor for children.

(3) § 443, relating to penalty for overemployment.

(4) § 447, relating to investigation three times annually.

(5) § 441, relating to emergency or peak demand cases.

Approved: June 16, 2001