Working Teens

Menstuff® has compiled information and books on the issue of working teens.

Finding a Summer Job or Internship
Welcome to the Working World
Could I Get Hurt or Sick on the Job?
What Are My Rights on the Job?
What Hazards Should I Watch Out For?
Is It OK to Do Any Kind of Work?
Are There Other Things I Can't Do?
What Are My Safety Responsibilities on the Job?
Should I Be Working This Late or This Long?
Work Hours for Teens Ages 14 and 15
What If I Need Help?
You have a right to speak up!
 

Finding a Summer Job or Internship


A summer job or internship is an excellent way to make money and gain the experience you'll need after high school. Read this article to learn more about how to find the job that's right for you.
Source: www.kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/jobs/summer_job.html

Could I Get Hurt or Sick on the Job?


Every year about 70 teens die from work injuries in the United States. Another 70,000 get hurt badly enough that they go to a hospital emergency room.

Here are the stories of three teens: 

l 18-year-old Sylvia caught her hand in an electric cabbage shredder at a fast food restaurant. Her hand is permanently disfigured and she'll never have full use of it again.

l 17-year-old Joe lost his life while working as a construction helper. An electric shock killed him when he climbed a metal ladder to hand an electric drill to another worker.

l 16-year-old Donna was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint at a sandwich shop. She was working alone after 11 p.m.

Why do injuries like these occur? Teens are often injured on the job due to unsafe equipment, stressful conditions, and speed-up. Also teens may not receive adequate safety training and supervision. As a teen, you are much more likely to be injured when working on jobs that you are not allowed to do by law.

What Are My Rights on the Job?


By law, your employer must provide:

At least the Federal minimum wage of $4.75 (increased to $5.15 on 9/1/97) to most teens, after their first 90 days on the job. Many states have minimum wages which may be higher than the Federal wage, and lower wages may be allowed when workers receive tips from customers. (Call your state Department of Labor listed in the blue pages of your phone book for information on minimum wages in your state).

You also have a right to:

 
What Hazards Should I Watch Out For?


Type of Work Examples of Hazards

Janitor

Food Service

Retail/Sales

Office/Clerical

Is It OK to Do Any Kind of Work?


NO! There are laws that protect teens from doing dangerous work. No worker under 18 may:

Also, no one 14 or 15 years old may:

Bake or cook on the job (except at a serving counter).

Are There Other Things I Can't Do?


YES! There are many other restrictions regarding the type of work you can and cannot do. If you are under 14, there are even stricter laws to protect your health and safety. States have their own child labor laws which may be stricter than the federal laws. Check with your school counselor, job placement coordinator, or state Department of Labor to make sure the job you are doing is allowed.

What Are My Safety Responsibilities on the Job?


To work safely you should:

Should I Be Working This Late or This Long?


Federal child labor laws protect younger teens from working too long, too late, or too early. Some states have laws on the hours that older teens may work. This table shows the hours 14- and 15- year -olds may work. (There are exceptions for students in work experience programs.)

Work Hours for Teens Ages 14 and 15


Work Hours not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1

Not during school hours: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day

Maximum Hours When School Is in Session 18 hours a week, but not over 3 hours a day on school days and 8 hours a day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays

Maximum Hours When School Is not in Session 40 hours a week: 8 hours a day

What If I Need Help?


Talk to your boss about the problem.

Talk to your parents or teachers.

For a Hazard Alert on preventing injuries and deaths of adolescent workers or for information on specific workplace hazards, contact NIOSH at 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) and ask for Report #95-125 or visit the NIOSH homepage at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html

For more information on working safe, visit the Department of Labor web site at http://www.dol.gov or call your local Wage and Hour Office (under Department of Labor in the blue pages of your local telephone book).

If necessary contact one of these government agencies. (Phone numbers can be found under Department of Labor in the blue pages of your local telephone book).

OSHA -- to make a health or safety complaint.

Wage and Hour -- to make a complaint about wages, work hours, or illegal work by youth less than 18 years of age.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commission -- to make a complaint about sexual harassment or discrimination.

You have a right to speak up!


It is illegal for your employer to fire or punish you for reporting a workplace problem.

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This information was prepared by the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program under a cooperative agreement from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It has been modified by NIOSH to be applicable to other states. For the original document which was developed for California, call 510.642.5507. For more information on working teens or for information on specific workplace hazards contact NIOSH at 800.35.NIOSH. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-132
Source: www.cdc.gov/niosh/adoldoc.html

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