Tanning Beds Youth Employment Enforcement Position

Based on documentation and information provided by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Division of Environmental Health, Radiation Protection Section; it is the state Wage and Hour Bureau's enforcement position that tanning beds do not come under Hazardous Order (HO) #6 as long as the rays from tanning beds are non-ionizing radiation. Therefore, the requirement that the workroom must be completely enclosed does not apply to the operation of tanning beds as this requirement is for ionizing radiation in excess of 0.5 rem per year.

However, it is our enforcement position for tanning beds that no youth under 18 years of age be allowed to work in a workroom where a tanning bed is in operation. Furthermore, it is our position that the workroom does not have to be completely enclosed. It is also our enforcement position that a tanning bed is not a prohibited piece of power-driven equipment for youths under 16 years of age. It is our enforcement position that the youth employment rules for tanning beds are the same for all youths under 18 years of age. This means that all youths 14 to 17 years of age can work in the workroom to clean, including the bed itself, as long as the tanning bed is not in operation. The youth employment provisions do not apply to youths under 18 years of age who are customers of the tanning salon.

It is also our enforcement position that the parental exemption applies to tanning salons so there is no age restriction for the owner's child to be employed as long as the youth's parents are the sole owners. However, it is our position that the owner's child cannot work in a workroom where a tanning bed is in operation. And the owner's child must obtain a youth employment certificate (work permit) regardless of their age until they turn 18 years of age.

It is DENR's rule that no one under the age of 18 can operate a tanning unit. Therefore, questions on the operation of tanning beds need to be directed to DENR's Radiation Protection Section in Raleigh at 919-571-4141.

Please note that these are the North Carolina Department of Labor's state youth employment enforcement positions. This information is for clarification pertaining to the issuance of youth employment certificates (work permits) and the enforcement of the youth employment provisions pursuant to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (WHA) as they relate to tanning beds and tanning salons. These state labor enforcement positions have no effect on the federal child labor provisions pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For questions on how the federal child labor provisions relate to tanning beds and tanning salons, please contact the United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division's national Call-Center at 1-866-4-USWAGE (toll-free).

For more information about workplace rights, please contact our toll free number at 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267).