As you probably know, there are strict federal and state laws that protect teens and dictate the kind of jobs they can take. These laws are very sensitive, especially when it comes to being overworked or being exposed to dangerous situations. Such laws tend to give more freedom to the teens as they grow up. As a teen employer, failure to adhere to teen labor laws can lead to hefty fines and eventual imprisonment.
Teen Labor Laws – 13 Years Old and Below
Teen labor laws might differ slightly from state to state, but in most cases, the teen must be at least 14 years old and above to qualify for employment. However, most state and federal laws allow such children limited job experiences such as babysitting, mowing lawns and newspaper delivery. Such kids are also allowed to act in movies, TV, theater and to take part in radio performances. They are also allowed to work in family-owned enterprises such as farms.
Teen Labor Laws – Hour Restrictions
According to general teen labor laws, a teenager or young adult is only allowed to work during specified hours without breaking labor laws. Such hours can vary, but they are generally stricter when it comes to teens under 15 years old.
Generally, teens in the age bracket of 14-15 can only work from 7am to 7pm. However; some states may allow such kids to work as late as 9pm from June 1st to Labor Day. The bottom line, however, is that there is not a single teen law that allows them to work when they should be in school or during school time.
In addition, teens are not allowed to work more than 3 hours during a school day. In most cases, working hours must not exceed 18 hours for an entire school week. In the very same way, such teens are not allowed to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week when there is no school.
However, teens that are already enrolled in an approved career exploration program or work experience program are allowed a maximum of 23 hours a week and 3 hours a day during school days.
When the teen or young adult is 16 years old and above, he or she is allowed to work for more hours as long as their work station is non-hazardous.
Teen Labor Laws – Job Restrictions
Job restrictions are there even for teens that are over 14 years old. Such restrictions vary depending on age but generally, at 14, a teen is allowed to work in offices, restaurants, stores, gas stations, amusement parks, and movie theaters.
Children below 16 years are not allowed to work in a position that requires them to drive or operate any machinery. At 16 and above, teenagers are allowed to take any occupation as long as it has been declared non-hazardous by the laws.
As an employer who is in the habit of employing teens, it is very important that you get accustomed to the various teen labor laws in your state to avoid breaking such laws unwillingly. It is also a good idea to use a scheduling tool that puts teen labor laws into consideration such as Zip Schedules.