NEW LAW – Wisconsin Updates Child Labor Law Requirements

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently signed 2017 Wisconsin Act 11 into law. This new law updates and modernizes the Wisconsin “child labor” laws.

This act made two major changes to the child labor laws in Wisconsin. The first was cosmetic – changing references from “child labor” to “employment of minors.” The second was substantive – repealing the requirement that 16- and 17-year-olds obtain a state-issued permit before they can begin most work activities. Under the new law, 16- and 17-year-olds who wish to perform work in Wisconsin will no longer need to obtain a work permit.

The new law does not remove the following requirements:

  • Minors 14 years and younger are prohibited from most employment in the state of Wisconsin;
  • Minors younger than 16 year are still required to obtain work permits for a $10 licensing fee (which must be reimbursed by their employers);
  • The existing laws regarding the hours of work and conditions of employment for minors did not change.

The new law went into effect on June 23, 2017. Wisconsin employers who employ minors should review their hiring practices and verify they comply with the Wisconsin child labor laws.