Working for the Weekend: Labor Laws for Minors
Regulating Teen Employees
Each year, millions of teens work part-time, intern or take summer jobs. When hiring teens at your not for profit organization, it’s important to be aware of the special laws that govern their employment. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour division oversees the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) child labor provisions, which specify the hours and jobs young workers can perform. The regulations are outlined below, along with additional steps you can take to keep young workers safe.
Know the child labor regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) to stay in compliance with federal law.
At age fourteen, the average age of a high school freshman, these jobs are not allowed:
- Communications or public utility jobs
- Construction or repair jobs
- Transportation of persons or property
- Jobs in workrooms where products are manufactured, mined or processed
- Warehousing and storage jobs
- Any other job declared "hazardous" by the Department of Labor
If a child is fourteen or fifteen years of age, he or she may work no more than:
- 3 hours per day on a school day, 18 hours in a school week
- 8 hours on a non-school day
- 40 hours in a non-school week
At age sixteen, a teen may work in any job that hasn’t been declared hazardous by the Department of Labor. If a worker is age sixteen or older, he or she may work any day, any time of day, and for any number of hours. There are no restrictions on the work hours of children age sixteen or older.
Hazardous occupations, as declared by the Department of Labor, aren’t allowed for anyone under the age of eighteen. These include jobs such as:
- Driving a motor vehicle
- Being an outside helper on a motor vehicle
- Operating power-driven machinery
Once a person turns eighteen, he or she may work in any job for as many hours as desired. Child labor rules no longer apply.
In addition to understanding labor laws, there are additional steps you can take to protect young workers:
- Recognize potential hazards
- Provide training
- Supervise young workers
- Inform managers of the tasks that teens shouldn't perform
- Periodically verify that teens are obeying safety practices
- Ensure equipment used by teen workers is both legal and safe
- Have teens demonstrate that they can perform assigned tasks safely and correctly
*To ensure you have the most up-to-date and complete information, please consult the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Contact a member of the 'A' Team for more ways to decrease risk in your not for profit.
- Human Resources E-Book
- Safety E-Book
- Don't Put Your NFP at (Cyber) Risk
- How to Minimize Risk When Hiring Summer Help
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