January 23, 2024

Statement from Florida Policy Institute on House Committee Passage of HB 49

FPI released the following statement after the Florida House Commerce Committee approved HB 49

The bill that would undo long-held child labor protections in the Sunshine State is poised for a floor vote in the Florida House.

Even after lawmakers amended HB 49, provisions remain that would allow employers to schedule 16- and 17-year olds for more than 30 hours a week, more than eight hours a day, and without breaks — even if they have school the following day. A recent FPI analysis found that roughly 80,000 teens aged 16- and 17- are currently employed in Florida, with three out of four also in school. The bill would disproportionately impact Florida teens from families with low income and immigrant youth.

Additionally, this weakening of the child labor law is being proposed against the backdrop of a state with lax oversight of wage and labor laws.

The focus during the 2024 legislative session should be on improving the health, safety, and overall well-being of Florida youth — not rolling back child labor law protections. This is why FPI and 99 other organizations sent a letter last week to legislative leaders urging them to oppose these rollbacks."

We strongly urge the Florida House to reject HB 49.

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