Are my parents allowed to force me to help with their job?

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Are my parents allowed to force me to help with their job?

My dad works a paper route and makes me help with it unpaid for hours on end. Is this allowed? My parents say its fine because it’s my

Asked on October 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, parents can make children help out in a family business just the same way that they can make their children help out around the house, etc. When it's internal to the family, such as a family business, parents have a great deal of discretion over their children's time and activities.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this, if you are a minor. Parents have the right to determine what activities and chores--which include helping at family economic activities, like your father's paper route--that their children must do. This is no different from the common situations of farm children having to help with the animals or harvests, or children of store- or restaurant-owning families having to help out in those business. You can, however, make this work for you in the future, by being able to list and describe this work experience on resumes or college applications.


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