Back to School: How to Handle Hourly Limitations for Young Workers

As the new school year approaches, it is important to consider the hourly limitations of young employees as they transition back into their school schedules. 

Both Federal and State laws govern the employment of young workers and when both are applicable, the law with the stricter standard must be obeyed. Employers should be aware of any discrepancies between the federal laws and the laws of the state(s) in which they are conducting business to remain compliant.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) establishes both hours and occupational standards for youth. Children of any age are generally permitted to work for businesses entirely owned by their parents, except those under age sixteen (16) may not be employed in mining or manufacturing and no one under the age of eighteen (18) may be employed in any occupation the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous.

Sixteen (16) and seventeen (17) year-olds may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Fourteen (14) and fifteen (15) year-olds may be employed outside school hours in a variety of non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs for limited periods of time as follows:  three (3) hours on a school day, including Fridays; eight (8) hours on a non-school day; eighteen (18) hours in a week that school is in session; and (40) hours in a week that school is not in session. In addition, such youth may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day when the evening limit is extends to 9:00 p.m.).

Children under fourteen (14) years of age may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations covered by the FLSA. Permissible employment for such children is limited to work that is exempt from the FLSA (such as delivering newspapers to the consumer and acting). Children may also perform work not covered by the FLSA, such as completing minor chores around private homes or casual baby-sitting.

For more tips on addressing young employees and the FLSA, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860. In addition, we would be pleased to assist you with any other HR matter your business may need guidance with.

Source: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs43.pdf

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