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Teens and Work

Part 1: Rules and Regulations


Maybe you want to have some fun on the weekends. Perhaps you want to buy some clothes, or CDs, or books. Or, you may be trying to save money for college. In any case, you'll need a job. Before you start making plans for your first paycheck, and even before you start job hunting, there are some things you need to know.

If you are under 14 years of age, you may be out of luck. The Fair Labor Standards Act (U.S. Department of Labor) sets the minimum age for employment at 14. It also limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16. In addition, the FLSA generally prohibits the employment of a minor in work declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Included is work involving excavation, driving, and the operation of many types of power-driven equipment. The FLSA contains a number of requirements that apply only to particular types of jobs (for example, agricultural work or the operation of motor vehicles). The FLSA has exceptions to these limitations. For example, minimum age requirements do not apply to minors employed by their parents or guardian. However, minors may not work in mining, manufacturing, and occupations where the minimum age requirement of 18 years old applies. Youths of any age may also deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; and babysit or perform other minor duties around a private home.

Laws regulating employment of minors vary among states and U.S. territories. On the following pages you will find information on each state's or territory's requirements in regard to employment or age certificates. You are encouraged to also contact your own state's Labor Department.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Alabama through Hawaii
Idaho through Missouri
Montana through Puerto Rico
Rhode Island through Wyoming

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