Child labor laws in Florida allow employers to hire children as young as 14 for certain, low-risk jobs. As long as an employer follows specific education and labor restrictions, including those posed by state law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, minors can be considered part of the workforce. But, if an employer chooses to put an underage employee in harm's way, and that employee suffers an injury on the job, workers' compensation laws are in favor of the minor.
Workers’ Compensation Laws for Minors
Workers’ compensation laws in Florida guarantee benefit coverage for all employees, including part-time employees and minors, with only a few exceptions. However, child labor laws further protect against exploitation by providing additional coverage for workers under the age of 18. These precautions allow judgment for extra injury compensation in the form of:
- Future earning capacity. When a work injury results in partial or complete disability, workers’ compensation benefits should include lost wages that the employee will no longer be able to earn. When a minor suffers disability, the compensation must be re-evaluated to include loss of future earnings over the course of 40-50 years, or until retirement age. The difference in future earning potential of a 40-year-old compared to a 16-year-old can be astronomical.
- Special benefit provisions. Many employers take advantage of a youth’s energy and dexterity by forcing him to do tricky or dangerous jobs that seasoned workers won’t do. Some states, including Florida, allow minors to receive special compensation in the event of an injury to discourage employers from needlessly placing children in harm’s way. In some cases, if a judge orders it, the extra compensation may double the original settlement.
Let Us Help
If you’re under the age of 18 and were injured in a workplace accident; or you’re looking for workers’ compensation options for your teenager, look no further. The experts of Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. are available to address all of your concerns with no cost to you. Contact our office directly at (386) 673-4412 to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to helping you understand Florida’s workers’ compensation procedure and ensuring your worker’s rights are upheld.