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NY Unveils Youth Workers Bill of Rights

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New York’s first-ever Youth Workers Bill of Rightsfirst announced in Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2024 State of the State address as part of an effort to bolster protections for New York’s youngest workers, was unveiled Wednesday.

Governor Hochul tasked the New York State Department of Labor with developing and distributing the Youth Workers Bill of Rights in partnership with the New York State Education Department and creating a vital resource that details essential rights and protections for every youth worker.

The Youth Workers Bill of Rights seeks to educate first-time workers as they prepare to enter the labor market by explaining the rights all NY workers enjoy as well as the protections that are specific to workers under 18. The Bill of Rights will be distributed to every young worker upon receiving their working papers.

Key protections outlined include the right to:

  • The minimum wage
  • A safe and discrimination-free workplace
  • File a complaint without fear of retaliation

The Youth Workers Bill of Rights is available online at NYSDOL’s new Youth Worker Information Hub. This hub seeks to be an educational resource for young people as they prepare to enter the workforce. The hub includes important information regarding protections for young people including permitted working hours during the school day, how to be sure they are being paid the correct minimum wage, and a full list of prohibited occupations for children under the age of 18. 

The Youth Workers Bill of Rights follows the Protect Youth Workers Pledge for businesses, launched in 2023 under the direction of Governor Hochul. By taking the pledge, businesses affirm they will always consider the safety and well-being of minors, they will report suspected child labor violations to the Child Labor Taskforce, and they have educated their employees on labor rights and signs of labor trafficking.

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