Florida Construction News staff writer
Florida Sen. Corey Simon from Tallahassee has filed a bill aimed at changing the state’s child labor laws to allow older teens to work in roofing and construction.
Under existing state and federal laws, anyone under 18 is prohibited from being employed in jobs that deemed dangerous for younger workers, including meatpacking, mining, demolition work and working on any scaffolding, roofs or ladders more than six feet off the ground.
Bill SB 460 was filed Nov. 14 and, if enacted, would come into effect on July 1, 2024.
Simon wants to amend child labor regulations to allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to work in roofing, scaffolding, and in residential and non-residential construction after completing a 10-hour training course from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for OSHA certification.
Students would only be allowed to work under direct supervision of someone who is at least 21 years old and also has received OSHA 10 certification.
Requirements would also be amended to require an annual career fair allowing certain employers to meet with students regarding career and technical education; revise requirements for certain courses to receive the same rate as honors courses for purposes of student grade point averages; and change the qualifications for specified teachers of career programs.
According to Simon, his goal is to fill a labor shortage caused by a crackdown on employing undocumented workers and enhance career and technical education for youth.