Child labor remains one of the central issues in many countries. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the set minimum age of employment allows companies to hire individuals under eighteen years old for jobs with unlimited hours (Siroën, 2013). Moreover, people that are over eighteen are allowed to work at hazardous jobs. However, these standards have many negative outcomes that affect children and young adults in various aspects of their lives. While poverty can be considered one of the main drivers for child labor, some other aspects of working conditions for youth should be investigated (Edmonds & Schady, 2012). This paper aims to prove that the minimum age should be changed to be eighteen years old for employment with unlimited hours and twenty-one for jobs that are hazardous to one’s health.
We will write a custom Essay on Legal Working Age and Hours Limits specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The minimum age for employment with unlimited hours means that workers that reach that age are allowed to fully participate in the working schedule of a company without any limitations. Currently, individuals that are sixteen years old or older can work full-time. Such a standard may damage the experience of young adults of this age for a number of reasons. First of all, many people of that age still attend school. Thus, their ability to work full-time may negatively impact their academic performance. High school is one of the final steps that can prepare children for college. Therefore, one’s grades and overall performance during the years of high school may be especially important if this person wants to continue his or her education. If an individual is given an opportunity to work unlimited hours during the high school years, he or she may lose the balance between working and studying. Moreover, some persons may be exposed to companies exploiting the Standards Act and making young people work full-time (Siroën, 2013). Therefore, although some individuals may want to perform well at school and work at the same time, these standards may negatively influence their ability to do that.
Another reason to change the minimum age of employment is the impact that labor can have on children’s health. According to Landrigan, Pollack, Belville, and Godbold (1995), some hazardous jobs can expose young people to various dangers that are hard to monitor or pinpoint. For example, pizza delivery is not considered to be a dangerous job by legal standards. However, policies of most pizza delivering companies that promise customers fast delivery force workers to drive carelessly, which can lead to traffic accidents and connected injuries. Landrigan et al. (1995) write that many young workers employed in such companies have to drive very fast in order to fulfill the organizations’ requirements. Therefore, some young people can get into accidents due to their inexperience with driving. By changing the minimum age for employment for hazardous jobs, people can protect young individuals from possible work-related accidents. Moreover, hazardous jobs may influence young people’s health more strongly than adults’ health. People that are eighteen years old are still developing. Therefore, these individuals’ health may be affected in ways that will permanently damage their organism.
Current standards for the minimum age for employment endanger young people for multiple reasons. The ability to work full-time may throw younger individuals off balance and deprive them of the opportunity to receive an education. Moreover, exposure of young people to hazardous jobs can significantly damage their health and result in many serious incidents that are connected to these individuals’ lack of experience and rash behavior. The minimum age for employment should be raised to avoid these problems from occurring.
Edmonds, E. V., & Schady, N. (2012). Poverty alleviation and child labor. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(4), 100-124.
Landrigan, P. J., Pollack, S. H., Belville, R., & Godbold, J. H. (1995). Child labor. Pediatric Annals, 24(12), 657-662.
Siroën, J. M. (2013). Labour provisions in preferential trade agreements: Current practice and outlook. International Labour Review, 152(1), 85-106.