Civil action. On appeal from the Department of Labor and Industry.
This is an appeal from the Division of Workmen's Compensation in favor of the petitioner.
At 6:30 o'clock on the morning of September 12, 1951 petitioner, then 14 years old, was injured while delivering newspapers for the respondent in a residential area. The child by his guardian filed a petition for disability benefits with the Division of Workmen's Compensation. After a full hearing the deputy director awarded the petitioner $468.50 for temporary and $825 for permanent disability. In addition, for permitting the child to be employed without
a "special permit" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:2-21.15, he assessed against the respondent, individually, a like sum in accordance with N.J.S.A. 34:15-10, the pertinent paragraph of which reads as follows:
"* * * If the injured employee at the time of the accident or compensable occupational disease is a minor under fourteen years of age employed in violation of the labor law or a minor between fourteen and eighteen years of age employed, permitted or suffered to work without an employment certificate or special permit if required by law or at an occupation prohibited at the minor's age by law, a compensation or death benefit shall be payable to the employee or his dependents which shall be double the amount payable under the schedules provided in sections 34:15-12 and 34:15-13 of this Title." (Emphasis supplied)
This appeal calls into issue the legal propriety of the additional assessment. The respondent contends that our Child Labor Act, and more particularly section 15 of N.J.S.A. 34:2-21, does not require a 14-year-old newsboy to have a "special permit." The petitioner argues to the contrary. This court's function then, is to first determine whether or not a "special permit" is required for such a youngster by our act.
N.J.S.A. 34:2-21.7 reads in part as follows:
"Except as permitted under section fifteen, no minor under eighteen years of age shall be employed, permitted, or suffered to work in, about, or in connection with any gainful occupation, unless and until the person employing such minor shall procure and keep on file an employment certificate or special permit for such minor, issued by the issuing officer of the school district in which the child resides, or of the district in which the child has obtained a promise of employment if the child is a nonresident of the State; provided, that no certificate or special permit shall be required for any child sixteen years of age or employed in agricultural pursuits." (Emphasis supplied)
With respect to the hours between which children may be employed, the Legislature provided in N.J.S.A. 34:2-21.3 that
"Except as provided in section fifteen * * * no minor under eighteen years of age shall be employed, ...