Hiring Teens: Things You Should Know Before the First Day of Work

Hiring Teens: Things You…

My oldest two children are teenagers now, and the subject of “getting a job” has been batted around our house of late. As we consider the possibilities, I’ve conducted a bit of quick research regarding what teens can and cannot do for employment under state law. If you are looking to hire a teen, or know a teen looking for a job, here are a few things you should know before the first day of work:

  • With a few exceptions for things like golf caddies, youth program umpires and referees, and volunteers at a tax-exempt organization, kids (or “minors”) must be at least 14 years old to hold a job.
  • Between the ages of 14-17, minors must obtain a work permit from their school district (usually available through the school counseling office), which their employer must keep on file for the duration of their employment. Work permits may be revoked by the school authority for poor school attendance, a sudden drop in school performance, or a violation of state or federal employment laws by the employer.
  • Minors may not work:
    • more than six days in one week,
    • more than an average of eight hours per day or 48 hours in one week, or
    • more than ten hours in one day.
  • 14- and 15-year-olds may not work between the hours of 9 PM – 7 AM, or more than a combined total of 48 hours between school and work when school is in session.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds may not work between the hours of 10:30 PM – 6:00 AM during school weeks, or between 11:30 PM – 6:00 AM on weekends or when school is not in session; and may not work more than 24 hours during any school week.
  • The minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds is $7.23 per hour, as kids this age may be paid 85% of the current minimum hourly wage rate for adults (which is currently $8.50 per hour). The minimum wage law for minors doesn’t specifically address younger teens, but minors age 14-15 are required to be paid at least the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
  • Minors may not be employed for more than five hours continuously without a minimum 30 minute meal and rest period, may not be employed in any occupation that involves cash transactions after sunset or 8 PM at a fixed location unless an adult is also present, and may not be employed in an occupation involving the sale or production of alcoholic beverages unless food or other goods are also sold at the location and constitute at least 50% of the gross receipts.

Violation of these laws by the employer, which are found in the Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act, constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a fine of $500.00, or both.

For more information on employment of minors, please contact us at (248) 477-6300.

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