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Summertime is here!

School is out and young people are looking for work. We asked our Wage and Hour Compliance Advisor for some tips on hiring summer help. Here are Shannon’s Tips.

Q:  Hi Shannon – tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

A:  Hello everyone – I am the Wage and Hour Compliance Advisor with Gotcha Covered HR. My role as a consultant draws upon my many years of working at the U.S. Department of Labor in the Wage and Hour Division, where I investigated violations of overtime and minimum wage, as well as child labor laws.

Q:  Given that it’s pretty much officially Summer, what are some issues that you see with companies hiring young workers?

A:  Let’s face it, most firms are fighting employee shortages. Since it’s summertime and school is out, minors are everywhere looking for work. Since companies need workers, and there is suddenly an available pool of workers, hiring should be no big deal, right? But, if there is a violation of child labor laws, the DOL can come to your business and assess a huge fine!   

Q:  So, what advice would you give to employers who want to avoid these penalties and comply with child labor rules?

A:  First of all, let’s distinguish the ages covered by child labor laws, because once a youth reaches 18 years of age, he or she is no longer subject to the Federal youth employment provisions. The age of 16 is the basic minimum age for employment. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Q: Okay, so what about kids younger than 16. What rules apply to them?

A:  In general, minors between the ages of 14-15 can work, but only within particular hours. 

Q: Can you explain what constitutes “summer hours”?

A: Sure, this is a term that I will use because summertime work hours for minors are less restrictive than during the school year. This period of time is defined as June first through Labor Day. During this time period, 14- and 15-year-olds: 


      • Can work up to 8 hours on ANY non-school day (which means weekends, holidays, and school days off).  

      • Can work up to 40 hours per week, provided it is a non-school week. (This is generally what the company considers as their work week, usually when time goes in. For example, Sunday through Saturday, etc.).  So, this means they can work no more than 40 hours during a summer hours work week. 

      • Can work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day (otherwise the time limit is 7 p.m. – again, this extended period is less restrictive for summer hours). 

    Shannon Coleman - Cryer is a wage and hour compliance advisor for Gotcha Covered HR. Follow the link to read Shannon's full bio.

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