13-Year-Olds in Trouble for Selling Cupcakes

A Chappaqua, New York politician in a New York suburb called the police on two 13-year-old boys for selling cupcakes and other baked goods for $1 each in a Chappaqua park without a permit. The police were called after discovering the sale was not for charity. The kids were scared by the police call. The kids hoped they would make enough money to open a restaurant, making $120 on their first day. However the police arrived on their second day in Gedney Park, on October 9. The policeman who was called to the park said he was sorry to have to do this, but that he was following up on a report filed over the phone by a Town Board member. The kids were worried that they were going to get arrested or have a criminal record. The park superintendant has said that “in hindsight” he should have told the boys they needed a license rather than calling the cops. A permit to sell things in the park costs $150 to $350 for two hours and a $1 million insurance certificate is also required. One of the boys told a local newspaper of his disappointment. “We were being entrepreneurs,” he said, “but now I feel a little defeated.” Read More.

The efforts to sell cupcakes by two young entrepreneurs calls to mind the issue of child labor. While the teens in the case above were not forced into labor, other cases where child labor is abused is regulated by the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor is the sole federal agency that monitors child labor and enforces child labor laws. The federal law which governs the abuse of child workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA restricts the hours that youth under 16 years of age can work and lists hazardous occupations too dangerous for young workers to perform. Enforcement of the FLSA’s child labor provisions is handled by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek. Read More.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a violation of child labor laws or underage employment, the lawyers at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC, have extensive experience in handling all matters of labor disputes regarding wage and hour law, child labor law, and workers compensation lawsuits. Victims of such offenses may be entitled to compensation. For more information or a consultation, contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-888-5-JOBLAW