Media Contact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 2, 2024
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

February 2, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL – On Thursday evening, the Florida House voted to pass House Bill 49 (HB 49), which would reverse longstanding child labor protections and force youth to choose between prioritizing their education or their jobs. The bill would permit employers to schedule 16 and 17-year-olds for unlimited hours, without breaks, and for more than 6 days in a row without regard to school schedules.

The ACLU of Florida opposes this bill and its companion bill, Senate Bill 1596 (SB 1596). 

Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel at the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following: 

“HB 49 reverses long-standing child labor protections and prioritizes employer interests over the education, safety, and well-being of our youth.  The bill would undo decades of labor protections currently in place that are meant to protect young people in the workforce. 

“Removing legal protections meant to protect young people is bad policy and disproportionately harms low-income communities and communities of color in Florida. Not surprisingly, HB 49 has received widespread statewide and national opposition. Moreover, over 70 percent of Florida voters oppose this bill.

“Our laws should not prioritize youth labor at the expense of education. Managing the demands of work and school is already difficult for low-resourced youth, and this bill makes it much harder. 

“The State should be pursuing legislation that incentivizes and prioritizes youth education. This bill does the opposite.”