Senator Castro speaks during a committee hearing.Child labor law violations have increased by 69% since 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, leading State Senator Cristina Castro to spearhead legislation that would codify protections for child performers in Illinois.

“A state with strong worker protections ought to make sure children are protected by those regulations too,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “As the Illinois film industry continues to grow and attract more talent, we need to make sure appropriate safeguards are in place for our youngest performers.”

Currently, minors in Illinois who are employed in the entertainment industry are subject to the Child Labor Law and additional rules for performers set by IDOL. The agency establishes maximum work hours for minors based on their age, including how long they can spend on the set of a production and the length of time spent working that day. Castro’s measure would revise these age limitations, including adding time restrictions for 16-year-olds who are currently exempt from IDOL’s child performer requirements.

Employers are also currently required to provide studio teachers to fulfill school hour requirements when child performers are not otherwise receiving instruction. Castro’s legislation would also add guidance for studio teachers to ensure they are upholding their responsibility to provide at least one hour of rest and recreation per day when the minor is on set.

Senate Bill 3180 passed the Senate Wednesday and moves to the House for further consideration.