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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 426 AN ACT RELATIVE TO CHILD LABOR.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to protect forthwith certain children in the labor force, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 62 of chapter 149, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “elevator”, in line 25, the following words:— ; or (16) in any job or occupation requiring the possession or use of a firearm.

SECTION 2.
Said chapter 149 is hereby further amended by striking out section 66, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

Section 66. A person shall not employ a child or permit a child to work in, about or in connection with any establishment or occupation before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.; provided, however, that a child may be employed as an operator in a regular service telephone exchange or a telegraph office until, but not after, 11:00 p.m.; provided, further, that a child 16 years of age or older may be employed until, but not after, 11:30 p.m. on any night other than a night preceding a regularly scheduled school day; provided, further, that a child 16 years of age or older may be employed in a restaurant or race track until, but not after, 12 o’clock in the evening on any night other than a night preceding a regularly scheduled school day; and provided, further, that an establishment which stops serving clients or customers at 10:00 p.m. may employ a child until, but not after, 10:15 p.m. A person shall not employ a child or permit a child to work in, about or in connection with any establishment or occupation after 8:00 p.m. unless the child is under the direct and immediate supervision of an adult acting in a supervisory capacity, who is situated in the workplace and is reasonably accessible to the child. This section shall not apply to a child employed at a kiosk, cart, or stand located within the common areas of an enclosed shopping mall that employs security personnel, a private security company or a public police detail every night from 8:00 p.m. until the mall is closed to the public.

SECTION 3. Said chapter 149 is hereby further amended by striking out section 78, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

Section 78. Whoever, by himself or for others, or through agents, servants or foremen, employs, induces or permits any minor to work contrary to sections 60 to 74, inclusive, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 1 month, or both. The employment of any minor in violation of said sections, after the person employing such minor has been notified thereof in writing by any authorized inspector or supervisor of attendance, shall constitute a separate offence for every day during which the employment continues. Violations of sections 56 to 105, inclusive, shall be reported by the department to the division of industrial accidents.

SECTION 4. Said chapter 149 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 78 the following section:—

Section 78A. (a) As an alternative to initiating criminal proceedings to enforce any violation of sections 56 to 105, inclusive, or a violation of this chapter for improperly employing a minor for which a criminal penalty is provided, the attorney general may, at his discretion, issue a written warning or a civil citation to the person responsible for the violation. The citation may require immediate compliance with sections 56 to 105, inclusive, and may impose, for each instance in which a minor is required or permitted to work in violation of sections 56 to 105, inclusive, a separate civil penalty of not more than $250 for the first violation; not more than $500 for the second violation; and not more than $2,500 for the third and each subsequent violation. When determining the amount of the civil penalty per violation, the total number of prior violations shall include all violations committed per establishment location during the previous 3 years beginning on the effective date of this section. A person cited shall make payment of the penalty to the commonwealth within 21 days of the date of the citation. Nothing in this section shall limit the remedies contained in section 27C.

(b) A person aggrieved by a citation may appeal the citation by filing a notice of appeal with the attorney general and the division of administrative law appeals within 15 calendar days of the date of issuance of the citation. The appellant shall be granted a hearing before the division of administrative law appeals in accordance with chapter 30A. The hearing officer may affirm or, if the aggrieved person demonstrates by a preponderance of evidence that the citation was erroneously issued, vacate or modify the citation. A person aggrieved by a decision of the hearing officer may file an appeal in the superior court pursuant to said chapter 30A.

(c) If a civil penalty imposed by a citation remains unpaid beyond the time period specified for payment, the penalty amount and interest thereon at the rate of 18 per cent per annum shall be a lien upon the real estate and personal property of the person who has failed to pay the penalty. The lien shall take effect by operation of law on the day immediately following the due date for payment of the fine, and, unless dissolved by payment, shall as of that date be considered a tax due and owing to the commonwealth, which may be collected through procedures provided for by chapter 62C. An officer of a corporation that has failed to pay the penalty shall not incorporate or serve as an officer in any corporation which did not have a legal existence as of the date the fine became due and owing to the commonwealth.

(d) If a person fails to comply with a citation or to pay a civil penalty imposed thereby within 21 days of the date of the issuance of the citation or within 30 days following a decision of the hearing officer if the citation has been appealed, excluding any time during which judicial review of the hearing officer's decision remains pending, the attorney general may apply for a criminal complaint or seek indictment against the violator for the violation for which the citation was issued, or, in the alternative, may enter a civil complaint in the district or superior court to enforce payment of the citation. The attorney general shall not be required to pay a filing fee. In applying for the criminal complaint, the attorney general shall be entitled to seek all remedies and penalties provided for the violation under this chapter.

SECTION 5.
The first paragraph of section 86 of said chapter 149, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- A person shall not employ a child, other than a child over the age of 14 granted an employment permit by the superintendent of schools when the superintendent determines that the welfare of the child will be better served through the granting of the permit, in any place of employment, other than street trades described in section 69; but a child 14 years of age or older in co-operative courses in a public school may be employed by a co-operating establishment upon securing from the superintendent of schools a permit covering the co-operating employment.

SECTION 6. Said first paragraph of said section 86 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the third sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- A person employing a minor 14 years of age or older shall procure and keep on file, accessible to the supervisors of attendance of the town, to agents of the department of education, and to the attorney general or his authorized agents or inspectors, the permit for employment issued to the minor and shall keep a complete list of the names and ages of all minors so employed.

SECTION 7. Section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:—

An employment permit shall be issued only by the superintendent of schools or by a person authorized by him in writing, or, where there is no superintendent of schools, by a person authorized in writing by the school committee of the town where the child to whom it is issued resides during his employment or the town where the child attends school, or, if the child resides outside the commonwealth, of the town where the child is to be employed; provided, that no member of a school committee or other person authorized as aforesaid shall have authority to issue a permit for a child then in or about to enter that person's own employment or the employment of a firm or corporation of which he is a member, officer or employee. If an employment permit is issued to a minor under 16 years of age authorizing employment in a town other than that of his residence, a duplicate thereof shall be sent forthwith to the superintendent of schools of the town where the employment is authorized. Minors 17 years of age who can show documented proof of a high school diploma or the equivalent thereof to the person issuing employment permits may be employed without the signature of a superintendent of schools or by a person so authorized. The minor shall provide the person issuing employment permits a pledge or promise form, signed by the employer, the prospective employee and his parent or guardian.

SECTION 8.
Said section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “promise”, in line 17, the following words:— , signed by the prospective employee and his parent or guardian, and.

SECTION 9. Said section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “chapter”, in line 22, the following words:— which is summarized on the pledge or promise form.

SECTION 10.
Said section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 24, the words “such child” and inserting in place thereof the words:- a minor under 16 years of age.

SECTION 11. Said section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “thereunder”, in line 25, the following words:- ; and evidence that a minor 16 years of age or older meets the requirements for the completion of the sixth grade of the public schools of the town in which he resides.

SECTION 12.
The second paragraph of said section 87 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (3) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:—

(3) For a minor under 16 years of age, a certificate, signed within the previous 12 months, by a school or family physician, or by a physician appointed by the school committee, stating that the minor has been thoroughly examined by the physician and, in his opinion, is in sound health.

SECTION 13. Section 89 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 27 and 28, the word “sixteen” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:— 18.

SECTION 14.
Section 94 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- Supervisors of attendance, representatives of the office of the attorney general, agents of the department of education or of the department of labor, or any authorized agent or inspector of either of those departments may require that the permit for employment and lists of minors employed in any establishment or occupation shall be produced for their inspection.

SECTION 15. Said chapter 149 is hereby further amended by striking out section 95, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

Section 95. If a minor 16 years of age or older fails to meet the requirements for the completion of the sixth grade, a person shall not employ that minor while a public evening school is maintained in the town where the minor resides or in the town of employment if he is authorized to attend a public evening school therein, unless that minor is a regular attendant at the evening school or at a day school and presents to his employer each week a school record of his attendance. When his record shows unexcused absences, his attendance shall be deemed to be irregular and insufficient, but the person authorized to issue permits for employment, or teachers acting on his authority, may excuse justifiable absence or waive the school attendance requirements if, in the opinion of the school physician, the physical or mental condition of that minor is such as to render attendance harmful or impracticable.

SECTION 16.
Section 95A of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 4, the words “certificate required by section ninety-five” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- permit for employment required by section 86.

SECTION 17.
Sections 97 and 98 of said chapter 149 are hereby repealed.

SECTION 18.
Section 104 of said chapter 149, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 14, the word “commissioner” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- attorney general.

Approved January 3, 2007.


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