House Makes Changes In Senate Bill About Teen Jobs, Working Hours

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa House has voted to make changes in a Senate bill that expands the hours teenagers may work and the types of jobs they may perform.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds would be able to sell or serve alcohol in a restaurant, but not a bar, and the House voted to require that two adults be present. If the kitchen is closed and food service has stopped, teenagers would have to stop serving alcohol. Republican Representative Dave Deyoe of Nevada says the overall package provides reasonable work opportunities for teenagers.

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst thanked Republicans for accepting some of the ideas House Democrats proposed.

But Konfrst and other House Democrats still voted against the bill, citing concerns about having teenagers engaged in some jobs and being too tired for school. The House-passed bill specifies that 14 and 15-year-olds cannot be eligible for state waivers to work at certain occupations, but Deyoe says it will let 16 and 17-year-olds be involved in work-based learning programs.

The bill says teenagers cannot work in meatpacking plants or the mining industry. Deyoe is optimistic the Senate will approve House adjustments in the bill and send it to the governor.

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