Part-time employment for youths is a win-win situation. It’s cost-effective and productive for a business while providing youths with opportunities to develop particular skill sets and work habits in “the real world” after school hours. However, as an employer, before you start hiring youth and scheduling hours, there are several laws and regulations under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that you are required to know and abide by. While understanding the basic laws of hiring youth is just a starting point, having a clear understanding will make the hiring process easier and make your employee’s experience more efficient.
Here are just three of the basic laws set out by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to get you started:
How many hours can youths work?
According to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), youths’ minimum age to work is 14, with the basic minimum age being 16. In fact, Youth Rules! – a division of The U.S. Department of Labor – states that youths aged 14 or 15 are limited to hours they are allowed to work. For example, youths may are not permitted to work:
- Outside of school hours.
- More than three hours on a school day (including Fridays).
- More than 18 hours per week during the school year.
- More than eight hours per day when school is not in session
- More than 40 hours per week when school is not in session
- Before 7 AM or after 7 PM on any day (hours are extended to 9 PM from June 1 to Labor Day)
However, while a little restricted for employers, there are no limited work hours for those aged 16 to 17 and can perform “any job that has not been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.” Plus, once a youth reaches 18, “they are no longer subject to the federal child labor provisions.”
Youth Employment Wages
According to the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Yet, for those under 20 years old (and eligible to be paid the minimum wage), an employer is entitled to pay as low as $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive days of employment. Following the 90 days, they are then required to pay the full minimum wage.
What Type of Businesses Can Youths Work For?
Other than the agricultural space, which entails a whole other set of labor laws and regulations, there are several kinds of employment available (non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs), including:
- Various businesses in the retail space
- Computer programming, tutoring, or the entertainment industry (singing, playing an instrument, etc.)
- Delivery services
- Yard work (not including the use of power-driven mowers or similar equipment)
- Loading or unloading objects at a worksite, including rakes, hand-held clippers, and shovels
- Gas stations or car detail services.
- Select restaurant jobs (such as washing dishes, cleaning equipment and limited cooking tasks)
Further, 14 and 15-year-olds who meet certain requirements can perform limited tasks in sawmills and woodshops, while 15-year-olds under certain requirements can work as a lifeguard at public pools or water parks.
By reviewing all the laws and regulations in accordance with the FLSA and that’s outlined by Youth Rules!, you are ensured that you’re meeting the required laws and regulations when hiring youth. Plus, you’re providing a lawful business place for you and your employees!
As youth labor laws may vary from state to state, it’s best to review your area’s limitations and allowances. For more details, visit the U.S. Department of Labor at https://www.dol.gov or Youth Rules! at https://www.youthrules.gov.
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