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Oct. 7, 1998

Changes proposed to minor work rules

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries will hold five public hearings around the state in November to gather public comment regarding proposed rule changes to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-125 regarding non-agricultural employment of minors. These changes include:

Clear rule writing revision: The proposed rules have been reorganized and rewritten in a clearer, more understandable style.

Minor work permit process simplified: The Minor Work Permit Endorsement on an employer's Master Business License (issued by Department of Licensing) would be the only legal permit necessary to hire minors. The additional Minor Work Permit issued by Labor & Industries no longer would be issued.

Revised meal and rest break periods: The time interval requirements for scheduling meal and rest breaks for 16- and 17-year-olds would be made more flexible - becoming the same as existing rules for adults. This would make it easier for employers to assign work shifts since the rules for adults and these minors would be standardized. No change is proposed for the rules governing meal and rest breaks for 14- and 15-year-olds.

Simplified special variance process: A variance would be valid for a longer period of time (one school year) without renewing or submitting documentation. The school would continue to be responsible for monitoring the variance agreement, but would no longer be required to provide detailed student information to L&I at the end of each grading period.

Employers involved in School to Work programs are not required to have a Minor Work Permit Endorsement: School-to-Work students learn work skills by doing real jobs in real work settings as a part of their high school program. But they are not really employees and are protected by school district agreements with the employers rather than L&I enforcement of the minor work rules.

Five public hearings will be held around the state as follows:

Nov. 10, 1998, 1 p.m.
Cavanaugh's at Yakima Center
607 E. Yakima Ave.
Yakima, WA 98901

Nov. 12, 1998, 1 p.m.
Spokane Service Location
901 N. Monroe, Suite 100
Spokane, WA 99201

Nov 16, 1998, 1 p.m.
Department of Labor & Industries Auditorium
7273 Linderson Way
Tumwater, WA 98504

Nov. 18, 1998, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Seattle Center
Rainier Room
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Nov. 20, 1998, 1 p.m.
Skagit Valley Community College
2405 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-5899

A copy of the proposed rule revisions may be obtained from Labor & Industries, by calling toll free 1-800-547-8367 or by written request to:

Greg Mowat, Program Manager
Department of Labor & Industries
Employment Standards
PO Box 44510
Olympia, WA 98504-4510

Written comments on the proposed rule revisions may be submitted to the above address by 5 p.m. Nov. 27, 1998.

If approved, the revised rule would be adopted Dec. 31, 1998, and would become effective Feb. 1, 1999.


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