The purpose of the Texas Child Labor Law is to ensure that a child is not employed in an occupation or manner that is detrimental to the child’s safety, health, or wellbeing. “Child” is defined as an individual under 18 years of age. Except as specifically authorized by the statute, it is illegal to employ a child under 14 years of age. One of the principal exemptions in the statute allows the Texas Workforce Commission (Commission) to adopt rules which authorize the employment of children under 14 years of age as performers in a motion picture or a theatrical, radio, or television production. Pursuant to that authority, the Commission has adopted Texas Commission Rule Section 817.31, which sets out the procedure for authorization of work by a child actor. These rules also contain provisions designed to ensure that employment does not interfere with a child’s education and does not pose a threat to the child’s health, safety, or general wellbeing. The Commission or its designee may, during working hours, inspect a place of business where there is good reason to believe a child is or has been employed within the last two years and collect information about the employment of children there. Knowingly or intentionally hindering such an investigation is a violation of the law.
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