22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Representative John Harris



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State Capitol, Room 513
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4859
Fax: (907) 465-3799


Sponsor Statement for HB 226
Employment of Persons Under Age 19

An Act relating to the employment of persons 14 years of age or older and under 19 years of age on licensed premises, including hotels, restaurants, or eating places; and relating to hours of work of minors under 16 years of age.
Released: April 25, 2001
Contact: John Manly, Legislative Aide to Rep. John Harris
at (907) 465-4859

House Bill 226 was introduced with the objective of making it easier for minors to obtain summer and after school employment, especially in hotels, restaurants and other eating establishments. Many more kids could get jobs as dishwashers, hotel maids, busboys, etc., if not for the fact that most of the businesses where they might be employed have beverage dispensary licenses.

Current state law also makes it unnecessarily difficult for employers, as well as the job-seeking youth. Finding workers willing to take jobs that typically are not high-paying becomes more difficult if high school-age kids are not eligible. And it becomes a real problem during the short but intense tourist season when kids on summer vacation are required to get their parents' permission before they can start working. This is a process that can take days or weeks, during which time the youth lose income and employers go without help.

HB 226 seeks to streamline this process by allowing youth 16-18 years of age to work in these jobs without having to obtain their parents' permission. Provisions in current law are retained that prevent minors from serving, mixing, delivering or dispensing alcoholic beverages, and requiring the employer to notify the Department of Labor and Workforce Development of the fact that a minor is working for them. HB 226 also extends state law to allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work in these hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other eating places, with their parents' permission.

The bill also makes minor changes to state law governing the number of hours and time of day a minor can work, while school is in session and when it is not, mainly to align Alaska law with current federal limits.

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