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Teen Job Requirements Could Soon be in for a Change

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Alabama – (WDNews) In a move aiming to empower parents and teenagers, the Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that could reshape the landscape for young job seekers. Sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, SB 53 received a resounding endorsement with a 75-17 vote.

The legislation, designed to streamline the process for 14- and 15-year-olds seeking employment, eliminates the need for school approval. Dubbed a “parental rights thing” by Rep. Susan DuBose, R-Hoover, the bill allows parents to greenlight their child’s work endeavors without school intervention. However, parents are still required to notify the school about their child’s employment status.

Notably, the bill doesn’t alter existing child labor laws dictating work hours. Young teenagers can still work up to three hours per day, with a weekly cap of 18 hours, and during the summer, they can extend their workweek to 40 hours.

The House made adjustments to the original bill, including the removal of a mandate for minors to inform their parents about their job status. Instead, parents or guardians must now notify the school’s head administrator or counselor and furnish employer details.

While the bill garnered bipartisan support, concerns were voiced by Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, who questioned the removal of school certification requirements for teen employment. Hall expressed surprise at the backing from education groups, underscoring the need for ongoing dialogue and scrutiny.

The legislation now heads for further review, marking a pivotal step in reshaping teen labor regulations in Alabama.