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Florida House Votes to Loosen Child Labor Laws a Year After Tougher Immigrant Statute

February 5, 2024


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A year after Florida enacted a law making it more difficult for employers to hire immigrants illegally, a move that has reportedly exacerbated a labor shortage and has added to property insurance repair costs, the state House passed a bill Thursday to let 16- and 17-year-olds work longer and later hours.


Supporters said teenagers and their parents know how to best manage their time and activities and lifting employment restrictions will help them build careers and earn money, especially with the current labor shortage. Opponents said the changes would make it easier for employers to exploit children and longer hours could negatively affect schoolwork.


“Nearly 1 million searches have been performed for ‘How can I get a job as a teen.’ They want to work. This bill gets government out of their way to choose a path that’s best for them,” said Republican Rep. Linda Chaney, who sponsored the bill.


The bill would remove restrictions prohibiting 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than eight hours when they have classes the next day and from working more than 30 hours a week when school is in session. The House passed it on an 80-35 vote.



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