Hiring Teens This Summer
By Jerry P. Cline
With the school year coming to an end, teenagers may seek summer employment with your company. As such, employers should be keenly aware of the various federal and state child labor laws that regulate the employment of those under the age of 18.
Generally, and with some limited exceptions, federal and Ohio law prohibit the employment of persons under the age of 14. Persons age 14 and 15 may work, but Ohio law restricts their summer employment to 8 hours per day, and a total of 40 hours per week. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may not start work before 7 a.m., and their work day must end by 9 p.m.
For the summer employment of 16- and 17-year-olds, there is no limitation as to the starting and ending time and no limitation in hours per day or week. However, no minor may work more than five consecutive hours without a rest period of at least 30 minutes.
During the school year, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. They also may not work more than three hours on any school day and cannot work more than 18 hours in a school week. Work during school hours is prohibited unless the employment is in conjunction with a bona fide vocational training program.
The employment of 16- and 17-year-olds during the school year is a bit more complicated. 16- and 17-year-olds cannot be employed before 7:00 a.m. However, they may be employed as early as 6:00 a.m. if they were not employed after 8:00 p.m. the previous night. They are also prohibited from working after 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday but there is no limitation as to the number of hours per day or per week.
The law also prohibits the employment of minors in any occupations found to be hazardous or detrimental to their health and well-being. While the list below is not exhaustive, under Ohio law, and with some limited exceptions, some jobs are prohibited to ALL minors. These include slaughtering, mining, logging, roofing, excavating, and a host of other jobs deemed dangerous or risky.
Additional prohibitions apply only to 14- and 15-year-olds. Federal law provides for other restrictions and exemptions, including certain exemptions for drivers. The bottom line is, make sure you learn the law when hiring teens.
And make sure you know their ages as well! Contact Lynn, David or Jerry if you have questions regarding employing minors during the summer, or any other questions relating to employment law.