Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Minor Issue: Teens Get Ready for Your Summer Job by Knowing Labor Laws

Know minor labor laws before you decide on a job, to make it worth your while.

Before you hit the websites and the streets looking for the perfect place to get your fall wardrobe money and weekend spending cash, you'll want to know the ins and outs of child labor laws in our state. Ok, maybe you don't need a thorough knowledge but it's good information to have when looking. Knowing what your restrictions are for your age will help you pick a job that will earn you cash and still leave you time to spend with your friends. Lucky for you, I did some research for you on some of the restrictions that go along with being a teenager looking for work.

Our government does not require any restrictions for working but states generally do and they vary. Make sure to check out Youth Rules website from the Department of Labor if you're outside of North or South Carolina.

If you're …

13 and younger:
You're out of luck. People under 14 really don't have much allowance to get a job. However, some positions like minor chores in private households, babysitting, acting or theatrical jobs or working on a farm are permitted by the state. South Carolina laws are pretty much the same, they just indicate that it's ok to deliver newspapers for those under 14. South Carolina also allows for restrictions to be waived for jobs that are at businesses completely operated and owned by your parent or guardian.

14-15 years old:
You can work outside of school hours in non-manufacturing and non-hazardous employment. The state allows for up to 18 hours a week while school is in session for no more than 3 hours per school day (including Friday) or up to 8 hours on a Saturday or Sunday. During the summer when school isn't in session you can work up to 40 hours a week and 8 hours a day. You're allowed to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Between June 1 and Labor Day, the hours extend to 9 p.m.

16-17 years old:
There are less restrictions on the actual places you can work, the only one that is required is you have to work in a non-hazardous environment. The state also restricts you to work between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. but this can be waived by a parent or guardian if circumstances require otherwise.

In North Carolina, if you've been offered a job and are under 18, you'll need to complete and have a Youth Employment Certificate (YEC). For more information and documents click here. As far as I can tell, South Carolina does not require minors to have specific work papers or certificate, just that they provide proper identification (ex: birth certificate or social security card).

If you're unclear or have more questions check out North Carolina Department of Labor or South Carolina Department of Labor for more information. While it's kind of a drag to have to be restricted in your work hours, it's really so that you can focus on your school work and then plunge into the workforce. Trust me, you'll be glad you have the state backing you up. Some of us seasoned workers probably wish that the government would restrict us from working sometimes. But knowing what you can do will help you find the right summer job or first job for you.

- Rosie Reilman, Photo by Leslie Duss

1 comment:

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