Story at a glance

  • Wisconsin lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that would expand labor laws, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work until 11 p.m. on certain days.
  • The state currently adheres to federal guidelines that stipulate the group can only work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day, and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. thereafter.
  • But the measure would only apply to businesses exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Wisconsin lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that would expand labor laws, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work until 11 p.m. on certain days in a push to boost small businesses.

The proposed bill, SB-22, would allow the group to work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on work days before a school day and between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. when there is no school the next day, Insider reported. But the measure would only apply to businesses exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The state currently adheres to federal guidelines that stipulate the group can only work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day, and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. thereafter.

Yet, the measure will uphold federal laws limiting teens to six days of work per week, and uphold hour restrictions constraining the group to 3 hours per day on school days and eight hours on non-school days. 

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State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R) and state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) said before the state's Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform in June that expanding the laws for younger people could benefit smaller businesses during peak seasonal rushes. 

"Businesses throughout the state see a massive increase in traffic during the summer tourist season, so much so that it can be difficult to find employees to work odd hours and seasonal times," they said.

The measure received pushback from Democratic lawmakers, including state Sen. Bob Wirch, who said “kids should be doing their homework, being in school instead of working more hours,” adding that the extended hours could lead to more curfew violations, the Wisconsin Examiner reported

Wisconsin currently has more than 3.1 million people in the workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


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Published on Oct 21, 2021