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Florida Workplace

Governor signs bill allowing teens older than 16 to work 30+ hours per week


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday authorizing 16- and 17-year-olds to work more than 30 hours per week with their parent’s approval. The bill DeSantis approved is a scaled-back version of the plan GOP House members originally proposed during the 2024 legislative session.

The governor’s signing of HB 49, which had garnered criticism from workers’ advocacy groups early in the session, came without fanfare. In fact, his office announced the approval in a press release along with 24 other bills the governor signed Friday afternoon.

The law will go into effect on July 1, allowing Florida minors older than 16 to work more than 30 hours per week if a parent, guardian, or school superintendent gives their permission in a waiver. Teens of those same ages could work more than eight hours on weekends and holidays.

Originally, the bill waived any break requirements for people older than 16, but the final version DeSantis signed states that older teenagers must have a 30-minute break every four hours if their shift is longer than eight hours. Under the law going into effect in a few months, employers could schedule 16- and 17-year-olds to work for more than six days at a time.

Still, homeschooled 16- and 17-year-olds and those who attend virtual schools can work without any of the limitations the state places on minors.

Lawmakers debated changes to the bill until the last day of this year’s legislative session when it passed on a 76-33 vote in the House and a 27-11 vote in the Senate.

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