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Dec. 31, 1998

State adopts changes to minor work rules

TUMWATER - Proposed changes to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 296-125) regarding non-agricultural employment of minors were adopted today and will become effective Jan. 31, 1999. The Department of Labor & Industries held five hearings around the state in November to gather public comment.

The rule 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) will be the only legal permit necessary to hire minors. Labor & Industries no longer will issue the additional minor work permit.
  • Revised meal and rest break periods: The time interval requirements for scheduling meal and rest breaks for 16- and 17-year-olds will be more flexible - becoming the same as existing rules for adults. This will 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: Variances will be valid for a longer period of time (one school year) without renewing or submitting documentation. The school will continue to be responsible for monitoring the variance agreement, but will no longer be required to provide detailed student information to L&I at the end of each grading period.
  • Employers who sponsor bona fide unpaid work-based learning programs are not required to have a minor work permit endorsement: These students learn work skills by doing real jobs in real work settings as a part of their high school program. But because they are not paid, they are not really employees and are protected by school district agreements with the employers rather than by L&I enforcement of the minor work rules.

A copy of the revised rule may be obtained from Labor & Industries' Internet web site at /scs/workstandards


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