Tips on Hiring the Teenage Worker

Posted on June 6, 2008

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Summer is here and many teenagers will be hitting the workforce to earn a few extra dollars. Companies who hire teenagers should be aware that state and federal laws restrict the use of minors or “child labor.”  Here are a few points companies should remember when hiring teenagers:

  • No one under the age of 14 may be employed in a public place.
  • Generally, work permits are required for workers between the ages of 14 and 17.  Work permits must be obtained before work begins, and the employer should keep the permit on file at all times during the minor’s employment.
  • Workers under the age of 16 who are currently enrolled in school may work no more than six days a week or more than 40 hours a week during the summer.  Work hours must be between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.  Different rules apply when school is in session.
  • Workers under the age of 16 may not work in certain places, including but not limited to the following:  near moving machinery or unguarded gearing; in a manufacturing business or machine shop; on a boat involved in navigation or commerce; around lead, large amounts of dust or tobacco; in certain building or construction work; in junk yards, scrap metal yards or lumber yards; operating motor vehicles, flagging or directing traffic; or in airport hangars.
  • Workers under the age of 18 may not work in certain places, including but not limited to the following: mining, quarrying, logging, sawmills or railroads; wrecking, demolition, ship breaking or sandblasting; certain tunnels or excavations; operating, assembling or servicing certain machinery; as a firefighter; distilleries handling alcoholic beverages; certain types of manufacturing; around poisonous or dangerous dyes, gases, acids, pesticides or large quantities of lye; around radioactive agents, asbestos or other cancer-causing agents; or as a butcher and other related jobs.
  • Generally, workers age 19 or older may serve alcohol in a restaurant as long as the owner or another employee aged 21 or older is on the premises.


State and federal law contain a number of exceptions and limitations on
the general descriptions provided above. Therefore, review the
statutes and regulations, or seek legal advice, before hiring minors.

DeWayne Pope, DeWayne Pope LLC

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Posted in: DeWayne Pope, FLSA