Share Rules and Restrictions for Hiring Young Workers

Guidelines differ when hiring young workers.  Please read the following article for a better understanding of the laws.

Myra Piper, CIC, CWCA

School ends for many young people during the next few weeks and that means teens are entering workplaces across the country for summer jobs, many for the first time. If you have a policyholder that may use student or teen workers on a temporary or full-time basis, now may be a good time to remind them of OSHA’s guidelines on hiring young workers and Fair Labor Standards. Here are some highlights:

According to child labor laws, no employee under the age of 16 should be on the job after 7 p.m. when school is in session. Child labor laws determine how many hours a student can work based on the student’s age. These laws fluctuate to allow students to work more hours during the summer or when school is out of session during vacation and other school breaks.

Ages 14 to 15:

When school is in session, students can work no more than three hours per day, including Fridays, and no more than 18 hours per week. Students can work no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 7 p.m. When school is not in session, students can work no more than 40 hours per week. On the weekends, school-leave days and holidays, students can work no more than eight hours per day.

Ages 16 to 17:

Students 16 and older can work unlimited hours as long as their job is a nonhazardous position.

For information on the use of teen workers, visit OSHA’s Resources for Young Worker Safety and Health site at For more workplace safety tips and guidelines, visit our WorkSafe Toolbox. It offers downloadable brochures, posters and booklets on a variety of topics and also provides links to our video library and online training.

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