Ohio law dictates what time a 13-year-old baby sitter can watch kids

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 17:35:52-04

Jovan Cooper said she’s waiting for Lorain police to finish their investigation after the tragic death of her three-month-old baby boy.

Cooper, who works overnights, said she used a 13-year-old babysitter to watch her children.

When she came home from work last weekend, Cooper said her child Nicklaus was bruised, bloody and had died.

Police will only confirm they are investigating the death as a homicide, and that they’re investigating a juvenile suspect.

No charges have been filed against the juvenile.

What hours can a 13-year-old work?

If the babysitter isn’t watching family members, there are laws in place for when they can work.

Citing Ohio law, Lakewood attorney Pat Perotti said they can't work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the school year, and not after 9 p.m. when school is out.

The state also limits what type of jobs they can do to things like babysitting.

"A 13-year-old can't work overnights because there are wage and hour laws - state and federal - and in this case the State of Ohio has wage and hour laws that prohibit kids under 16 from working certain periods of time and that would include any time before 7 a.m.,” said Lakewood attorney Pat Perotti.

Perotti said there are important reasons why the state sets guidelines for employing minors.

"The state understands that children are different than adults as far as being able to make careful decisions, and they could be victimized. So the state takes care of when children can work, what kind of work they can do, and what occupations they can work at, and how much they have to get paid because when they're working, they are out of the control of their parents and so somebody has to control them. The state doesn't expect the employer is necessarily going to be a parent,” said Perotti.

Perotti said breaking laws by hiring a juvenile during illegal hours is not a criminal offense, but fines can be levied.