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Child Labor Laws

Illinois Child Labor Work Rules

These rules apply to any minor employed as a performer in Motion Pictures, Television, Commercials, Music Videos, Digital Productions, Industrials and any/all other filming productions.  Please contact IDOL for more information on Theatrical Stage Musicals/Plays, Live Music, Singing, Dancing, Print or Live Modeling minor employment rules and law. 

Minor Employment Certificate: A valid Illinois Minor Employment Certificate must be issued to the minor prior to employment.

Supervision: A minor must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while employed.

Meal Break: A minor must receive a ½ hour meal after five (5) hours of work.

Work Day: The child work day must remain between the hours of 7AM and 7PM from Labor Day to June 1, and between 7AM and 9PM from June 1 to Labor Day.

Turnaround: A minor must be provided a twelve (12) hour turnaround rest break at the end of the workday and prior to the commencement of their next work day or school day.

Days: No minor shall be employed for more than six (6) days in any one week.

Facilities: All Minors must be provided with separate and adequate facilities for rest, schooling and recreation.

Posting: Employers must post a copy of the Illinois Child Labor Code is a location visible to all staff and crew.

Minor Employment Certificates

All children under the age of 16 are considered minors in the state of Illinois and are required by law to obtain a Minor Employment Certificate.  Without exception, children who are residents of other states must obtain an Illinois Minor Employment Certificate while working in Illinois.  The certificate must be obtained prior to the minor’s employment and is valid for one year.  Including but not limited to verification of the legality of the offer of employment, identification, academic heath records by an Issuing Officer, a trust fund must also be set up for the child performer that meets the requirements of the Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minor Act.

Work Hours, Educational Requirements, Health and Welfare

Child performers may be employed, permitted or allowed to work in a television, motion picture, or related entertainment production, in adherence with the limitations and requirements of this Section.

Maximum Hours on Set

A child performer's time permitted at the place of employment within a 24-hour time period is limited based on the child performer's age, as follows:

Age Maximun Time on Set Maximum Work Time Rest, Meals and Recreation School Hours
15 Days-6 Mos 2 Hrs 20 Min Balance of TIme  
7 Mos-2 Yrs 4 Hrs 2 Hrs Balance or Time  
3-5 Yrs 5 Hrs 3 Hrs 1 Hr On School Days: 1 Hr
6-8 Yrs

On School Days: 7 Hrs

On Non-School Days: 8 Hrs

On School Days: 4 Hrs

On Non-School Days: 6 Hrs

On School Days or Non School Days: 1 Hr On School Days: 3 Hrs
9-15 Yrs 9 Hrs

On School Days: 5 Hrs

On Non-School Days: 7 Hrs

On School Days or Non School Days: 1 Hr On School Days: 3 Hrs

Requirements for School Hours

  • The employer shall provide a studio teacher or teachers to fulfill school hour requirements by age group on school days when the child performer is not otherwise receiving educational instruction.  The employer shall set aside a clean, well-lit place where the instruction can take place; 
  • A studio teacher, retained by the employer, shall provide the following services:
    • Educationally appropriate instruction for a child performer if employment, including performance and rehearsals, interferes with education requirements;
    • For each child performer employed, a written report to the child perfomer's parents or legal guardians of subjects covered and the number of hours and dates of attendance.
    • Manage recreational activity, meals and rest periods during non-school days;
    • Age-appropriate activity for non-school age children; and
    •  Complement and provide supervision as needed during school days and non-school days;
       
  • School hours may only take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.;
  •  Materials needed for schooling, such as laptops and supplies, shall be provided by parents or legal guardians.  If a child performer lacks necessary supplies, the employer must provide supplies to ensure instruction can take place; and
  • Additional Guidelines for the Employer to Achieve School Hours Requirements
    • The child performer must receive at least one hour of school time per school day.  However, if the full school time requirement is not met on a particular school day due to the production schedule, the employer may have the child performer make up the difference on other work days, provided that the following requirements are met:
      • he studio teacher must approve the make-up schedule;
      • The make-up school hours must be made up within one week before or after the day of the missed school hours;
      • The child performer's maximum time at the employment site shall not exceed the total maximum allowable number of work and school hours combined as provided in subsection (a);
      • The employer may make up no more than 2 school hours on any given day, including non-filming days when the child performer is required to be on the employment site for rehearsal or other preparations required outside of the actual performance with approval of studio teacher;
      • School hours cannot be made up during holidays observed by the child performer's family; and
      • The child performer may not perform and make up school hours in excess of six days in a week.

Staffing Requirements

The employer shall adhere to the following staffing requirements:

  • A registered nurse shall be present for all rehearsals and performances when infants are on a set, in accordance with the following ratios, and may call for breaks as necessary:
    • One nurse for no more than 3 infants between 15 days and 6 months of age; or
    • One nurse for no more than 10 infants between 7 months and 1 year of age;
  • A studio teacher shall be present to provide educational instruction in accordance with the following ratios:
    • One studio teacher for no more than 10 child performers between age 5 and 8; or
    • One studio teacher for no more than 20 child performers between age 9 and 15;
  • Licensed medical professionals, such as emergency medical technicians or nurses, shall be retained by the employer and shall be on-site and available to respond to medical emergencies when child performers are present at the place of employment.  During remote-based performances, medical attention must be approved by written consent signed by the parents or legal guardian.

Educational Requirements

  • The employer shall adhere to the following requirements regarding educational instruction and supervision:
    • Content taught by the studio teacher shall be appropriate for the grade level of each child, as determined by the Illinois State Board of Education's Illinois Learning Standards (see 23 Ill. Adm. Code 1.Appendix D). Games may not be substituted for material taught to children during school hours;
    • Instruction may be taught remotely by a studio teacher:
      • If work performance takes place outside the place of employment; or
      • To make up school hours, with the agreement of the child performer's parents or legal guardians and the employer.

 

No child performer may be sent to wardrobe, dressing, hair dressing, or make-up without the supervision of a chaperone or studio teacher.

Night Waivers

  • No employer subject to the provisions of the Act shall employ, permit or allow a child performer to work in a television, motion picture, or a related entertainment production (as defined in Section 250.105) between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. from Labor Day to June 1 or between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. from June 1 until Labor Day, without first obtaining a certificate for a work hours waiver from the Department of Labor.
  • An official application form for a work hours waiver shall be provided by the Department.  The employer shall answer all questions contained on the form, including, but not limited to: the name, address and birth date of the child performer at issue; the specific work hours during a particular date for which the employer requests the waiver; the name, address and telephone number of the person that the employer has assigned and authorized to supervise the child performer during the work hours covered by the application for a waiver; a specific description of the child performer's performance, including information concerning the plot of the movie or television series and, if a commercial or music video, its essential lyrics; and a description and address of the exact place(s) where the child performer will work during the hours covered by the waiver request, including information concerning the surrounding physical set or physical environment.
  • The employer shall attach to the application for a work hours waiver a copy of the child performer's valid employment certificate, issued pursuant to Sections 9 - 12 of the Act.
  • The application must be signed and dated by a parent or legal guardian of the child performer, the employer, and an authorized representative of a collective bargaining unit, if a union represents the child performer upon employment.
  • The Department will evaluate the application to consider whether the waiver would be detrimental to the health or welfare of the child performer, whether the child performer would be supervised adequately; and whether the education of the child performer would be neglected.  For purposes of a nighttime waiver evaluation, work hours between 12:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. will generally be presumed to be detrimental to the welfare of the child performer.
  • Any employer seeking a work hours waiver shall submit an application to the Department as soon as is practicable, but no less than 48 hours prior to any nighttime hours to be worked between Monday night and Thursday night/Friday morning at 9:00 a.m.

    Waiver requests for nighttime hours to be worked over the weekend (between Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. as established in subsection (a), until 9:00 a.m. on the following Monday) must be submitted to the Department no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday prior.

    Alternatively, the employer may submit a combined request for a work hours waiver for up to one work week at a time.  Such weekly waivers must be submitted to the Department by no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday prior.

 

Night Waiver Application:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Documents/Child%20Labor%20Law%20Work%20Hours%20Waiver%20Application%20PDF%20Fillable.pdf

Section 250.310 Issuance of a Section 8.1(b) Work Hours Waiver

Section 250.315 Section 8.1(b) Work Hours Waiver Record Keeping and Disclosure Requirements

 

Stunts & Athletic or Acrobatic Activity

No minor shall perform, Stunts, Unusual Athletic or Acrobatic Activity, unless the minor and the parent/guardian represent that the minor is capable of performing such activity, and the parent/guardian gives prior consent in writing.

 

Hazardous Activity

No minor shall be required to work in any hazardous situation that places them in a clear and present danger to life and limb, regardless of parental consent.

The above mentioned rules apply to all productions filming in Illinois regardless of union affiliation.  If your production is signatory to SAG-AFTRA, additional rules may apply.  Please find additional information here or contact SAG-AFTRA Midwest at (312) 573-8081 or chicago@sagaftra.org.

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