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Code of Federal Regulations Pertaining to ESA

Title 29  



Chapter V  

Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor



Part 570  

Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation




Subpart G  

General Statements of Interpretation of the Child Labor Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended

29 CFR 570.123 - Agriculture.

  • Section Number: 570.123
  • Section Name: Agriculture.

    (a) Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child 
labor provisions for ``any employee employed in agriculture outside of 
school hours for the school district where such employee is living while 
he is so employed.'' This is the only exemption from the child labor 
provisions relating to agriculture or the products of agriculture. The 
various agricultural exemptions provided by sections 7(b)(3), 7(c), 
13(a)(6), 13(a)(10) and 13(b)(5) from all or part of the minimum wage 
and overtime pay requirements are not applicable to the child labor 
provisions. This exemption, it will be noted, is limited to periods 
outside of school hours in contrast to the complete exemption for 
employment in ``agriculture'' under the wage and hours provisions. Under 
the original act, the exemption became operative whenever the applicable 
State law did not require the minor to attend school. The legislative 
history clearly indicates that in amending this provision, Congress 
sought to establish a clearer and simpler test for permissive employment 
which could be applied without the necessity of exploring State legal 
requirements regarding school attendance in the particular State. It 
recognized that the original provision fell short of achieving the 
objective of permitting agricultural work only so long as it did not 
infringe upon the opportunity of children for education. By recasting 
the exemption on an ``outside of school hours'' basis, Congress intended 
to provide a test which could be more effectively applied toward 
carrying out this purpose.
    (b) The applicability of the exemption to employment in agriculture 
as defined in section 3(f) 32  of the Act depends in general 
upon whether such employment conflict with school hours for the locality 
where the child lives. Since the phrase ``school hours'' is not defined 
in the Act, it must be given the meaning that it has in ordinary speech. 
Moreover, it will be noted that the statute speaks of school hours ``for 
the school district'' rather than for the individual child. Thus, the 
provision does not depend for its application upon the individual 
student's requirements for attendance at school. For example, if an 
individual student is excused from his studies for a day or a part of a 
day by the superintendent or the school board, the exemption would not 
apply if school was in session then. ``Outside of school hours'' 
generally may be said to refer to such periods as before or after school 
hours, holidays, summer vacation, Sundays, or any other days on which 
the school for the district in which the minor lives does not assemble. 
Since ``school hours for the school district'' do not apply to minors 
who have graduated from high school, the entire year would be considered 
``outside of school hours'' and, therefore, their employment in 
agriculture would be permitted at any time. While it is the position of 
the Department that a minor who leaves one district where schools are 
closed and who moves into and lives in another district where schools 
are in session may not work during the hours that schools are in session 
in the new district, it will not be asserted that this position prevents 
the employment of a minor in a district where schools are in session, if 
the school last attended by the minor has closed for summer vacation. As 
a reasonable precaution, however, no employer should employ a child 
under such circumstances before May 15, and after that date he should do 
so only if he is shown by the minor satisfactory evidence in the form of 
a written statement signed by a school official stating that the school 
with which he is connected is the one last attended by the minor and 
that the school is closed for summer vacation. Such statement
should contain the minor's name, the name and address of the school, the 
date the school closed for the current year, the date the statement was 
signed, and the title of the school official signing the statement.

    32 Agriculture as defined in section 3(f) includes 
``farming in all its branches and among other things includes the 
cultivation and tillage of the soil, dairying, the production, 
cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or 
horticultural commodities (including commodities defined as agricultural 
commodities in section 15(g) of the Agricultural Marketing Act, as 
amended), the raising of livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals, or 
poultry, and any practices (including any forestry, or lumbering 
operations) performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in 
conjunction with such farming operations, including preparation for 
market, delivery to storage or to market or to carriers for 
transportation to market.''

    (c) Attention is directed to the fact that by virtue of the parental 
exemption provided in section 3(1) of the Act, children under 16 years 
of age are permitted to work, for their parents on their parents' farms 
at any time provided they are not employed in a manufacturing or mining 
    (d) The orders (subpart E of this part) declaring certain 
occupations to be particularly hazardous for the employment of minors 
between 16 and 18 years of age or detrimental to their health or well-
being do not apply to employment in agriculture, pending study as to the 
hazardous or detrimental nature of occupations in agriculture. 33 


    33 See note to subpart E of this part.

[16 FR 7008, July 20, 1951, as amended at 23 FR 3062, May 8, 1958. 
Redesignated at 28 FR 1634, Feb. 21, 1963. Redesignated and amended at 
36 FR 25156, Dec. 29, 1971]
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