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Rep.Bowers, Rhetta

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Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers files bill regarding the revision of Texas child labor laws.  print page

by: Rep. Bowers, Rhetta
02/21/2019

Austin, TEXAS – Last week, State Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers (HD 113) filed HB 1855, which related to the restrictions on hours of employment for children.

“As a former teacher, I believe that education is the key to every child’s future. Our goal with this bill is to revise the guidelines in which children between the ages of 14-16 are legally allowed to work, so we can ensure that children in the state of Texas have the time, energy and opportunity to receive a proper education.”

The bill states that a person commits an offense if the person permits an employee 14 or 15 year old child to work more than five days in one week, between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. on a day that is followed by a school day or between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on a day that is not followed by a school day. The bill amendments also state that a person commits an offense if the person permits an employee 16-year-old child to work more than 10 hours in one day, 54 hours in one week or six days in one week. In addition, it would be a criminal offense if an employee 16-year-old child were permitted to work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on a day that is followed by a school day or, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during summer recess if they are not enrolled in summer school.

“Children who spend an excessive amount of time and energy at work are at an increased risk of truancy issues and early involvement with the criminal justice system. The amendments made in this bill are a necessary step to further protect our children from working conditions that are detrimental to their health, safety and education.”

The change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act and does not affect children with working hardship exemptions or whom are emancipated from their parents. If passed, this Act would take effect on September 1, 2019.

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