HB 4932 was introduced by Representative Skaggs and a substitute that was adopted in committee this week has some troubling language. If passed, this bill will drastically increase damages if you violate the youth labor law. You can read the exact language in the bill below:
You can obtain an injunction against an employer who is engaging in or about to engage in a method, act or practice that violates this act. You can obtain a judgement that requires an employer who violated this act to pay each minor who was employed in violation of this act an award if the violation resulted in the minor being unable to continue employment with the employer, the award must be a greater amount than or equal to the minors hourly wage rate at the time of the violation multiplied by the average number of hours the minor worked in a four week immediately preceding the violation multiplied by 4.
But wait, there’s more.
A minor aggrieved by an employer’s violation of this act may bring an action in the circuit court of the county in which the violation occurred or the county in which the employers principle place of business is located. A minor is not required to notify the department of a violation or alleged violation of this act before bringing an action under this subsection and a court may award a plaintiff who prevails in an action brought under this subsection one or more of the following:
- Actual damages
- Punitive damages
- Cost including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees
For the first offense, the court may sentence the employer or employers agent to an imprisonment for not more than 5 years and shall impose a fine of not less than $50,000 or more than $500,000.
We opposed this bill in committee, and we will continue to keep you updated as to the status of this bill.