“School’s out for the summer”… or at least it will be soon and teenagers will be looking for ways to earn some money and work experience. Business owners planning to hire young people (under 18 years of age) need to be aware of the legal restrictions that apply.
What is the minimum age for employees?
According to Shelby Watts in a blog article for Homebase (an employee scheduling and team management software product), “Businesses can hire minors age 14 to 18 as long as they follow state and federal laws on working hours, wages, and job restrictions.”
- Some businesses, such as those that serve alcohol or the gaming (gambling) industry, have other age requirements.
- Positions that involve driving for business-related purposes require that employees must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
What are the federal child labor laws?
The Fair Labor Standards Act regulates the hours and type of work for employees under the age of 18.
- Employers may hire teenagers who are at least 16 to do any type of work that has not been deemed “hazardous” (mining, logging, sawmilling, roofing, working with power-driven machines other than lawn mowers, etc.).
- Employers may hire teenagers who are at least 14 to do certain types of work, but they can only work limited hours, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during the summer).
- During the school year, students may not work more than three hours per school day, 18 hours per school week, eight hours on a non-school day, and 40 hours in a non-school week.
- Certain types of employees are not covered by the child labor laws, including child actors or performers; newspaper carriers; children younger than 16 who are employed by their parents in a non-hazardous job; and children younger than 16 who are engaged in certain training and apprenticeship programs.
What are the child labor laws in Louisiana?
- Employment certificates, also called work permits, are mandatory for employees under the age of 18. This certificate must be acquired by the minor from a school administrator and presented to the prospective employer before being hired. The employer is required to keep a copy of the certificate for four years.
- Employees must be at least 17 years old to drive for business purposes.
- Employees under the age of 18 must be provided a 30-minute meal break after working five hours; this may be an unpaid break.
Hiring young people can be a good solution for filling entry-level positions but there are both federal and state laws that must be followed in order to avoid serious fines and penalties.
An HR professional can help you with all of your human resource needs.
From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.
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