Summer is here, school is out for those that still have summer break and many teens are looking for jobs to fill their free time, make some extra money and get out of the house. Parents should be aware, however, that there are drawbacks to summer employment for teens. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 70,000 teens are injured on the job each year, 70 are fatally injured.
Finding an age appropriate job for a teen is an important first step in protecting a minor in the workplace. Workers under 18 should not drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery on the job. Teens are generally restricted from mining, logging, slaughtering and working around the manufacture of explosives.
For teens under 15, there are wage and hour restrictions that limit the amount of time that your son or daughter can legally work each week. Fourteen and 15-year-old workers cannot work more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day when school is not in session. Teens ages 16 and 17 can work up to 48 hours per week but no more than 8 hours per day when school is not in session.
Minimum wage restrictions apply to minors as well as adult employees; minors must be compensated at overtime rates if they work more than 40 hours a week just as would an adult.
California law requires teens under 18 to have a work permit before they are allowed to be employed. This is typically obtained from his or her school and is a Department of Education form entitled "Statement of Intent to Employ Minor and Request for Work Permit."
There may be exceptions to the listed California employment restrictions for teens through the Work Experience Education program. There are also unique requirements for minors who work in the entertainment industry.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "How Teens Can Stay Safe At Work," Linda McMaken, June 21, 2012