Order of the Wisconsin
Department of Workforce Development
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development proposes an order to amend DWD 270.05 (1) and to create DWD 270.05 (2m), relating to an exception for child labor permits related to a public health emergency.
The statement of scope for this rule, SS 021-20, was approved by the Governor on April 16, 2020, published in register No. 772A3, on April 20, 2020, and approved by the Department of Workforce Development on May 13, 2020. This emergency rule was approved by the Governor on May 14, 2020.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Workforce Development
Finding of Emergency
The Department seeks to revise Chapter DWD 270 to create an exception to child labor permits related to the public health emergency declared in the Governor's Executive Order # 72 to protect the state's residents from the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes the coronavirus disease. In response to the public health emergency, on April 16, 2020, the Department of Health Services Secretary-designee issued Emergency Order # 28 (the "Safer at Home" order), directing public schools and some government offices to close. Various public schools and government offices are child labor permit locations and no on-line system for child labor permits is in place. To address worker shortages and staffing instabilities experienced by businesses while authorized labor permit offices are closed to the public during the public health emergency, the Governor issued Emergency Order #13, which created a temporary exception to the Department's rules that require child labor permits for certain minors. Emergency Order #13 specifies requirements that employers must satisfy to hire minors who are 14 and 15 years and who have not obtained child labor permits because of the public health emergency. On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared that the Safer at Home order is invalid and unenforceable, but carved out the provision relating to public schools, which will remain closed. See Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, 2020 WI 42. Therefore, there is still limited access to permit offices and the need for the temporary exception continues.
Explanation of Statutory Authority
The Department has specific and general authority to establish rules fixing reasonable classifications and hours of employment for minors under s.103.66, Stats., which sets forth the powers and duties of the Department relating to employment of minors.
For minors under 16 years of age, the Department is authorized to fix classifications, set maximum hours and days of work, identify minimum ages for hazardous employment, and to prohibit the employment of minors in employments or places prejudicial to their life, safety, health, or welfare.
Related Statutes or Rules
Plain Language Analysis
Currently, with specified exceptions, ch. DWD 270 prohibits employing or permitting a minor to work unless the minor first obtains a child labor permit. This rule creates a new temporary exception that applies during the period beginning on May 11, 2020, and ending on September 1, 2020. During that period, the new exception allows employers to employ minors who are 14 and 15 years old and who have not obtained child labor permits. For the exception to apply, an employer or authorized individual must sign a written intent to hire. In addition, the employer must obtain the minor's proof of age, parent or guardian consent, and a copy of the minor's social security card. The rule also requires the employer to notify the Department about the minor and, no later than October 1, 2020, file an application for a child labor permit on behalf of the minor and pay the permit fee.
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulations
None. Federal law does not require work permits or age certificates for minors to be employed.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states
Michigan and Minnesota have also suspended in person issuance of child work permits as a result of the pandemic.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies
Emergency Order # 13, DWD 270 and relevant statutes relating to child labor permits were reviewed as part of the process for developing this proposed rule. No other data or analysis was needed.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of an economic impact analysis
This rule is intended to have no negative impact on business so therefore no analysis was necessary.
Effect on small business
No negative impact on small business.
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