Hiring teens for summer jobs? Make sure you follow the rules

Last week, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, presented the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign in downtown New York City.

The job safety campaign is part of OSHA’s Young Worker Initiative to reduce work-related injuries among teen employees by teaching them proper on-the-job safety techniques. OSHA’s goal is to reach more than three million teens in hopes that lessons learned now will be carried throughout young workers' careers.

The Young Worker Initiative site is full of information and helpful resources for teens, parents, employers and educators for all to help young summer employees have a safe and rewarding work experience.

The Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign kicks off just in time as teens begin their search for summer work. Be sure you know the laws regarding child labor and safety before hiring any underage employees.

Two major areas to be concerned with are the Fair Labor Standards Act and OSHA.

OSHA. Depending on where you do business and in what industry, you must comply with certain hazard-specific job safety and health standards. OSHA is the federal department in charge of setting and enforcing safety and health standards in the workplace. All employees, including teen workers should be trained on how to stay safe while on-the-job.

Visit the OSHA Teen Workers site and your local Employment Standards Office for help with questions.

FLSA. The FLSA was set in place to protect minors’ educational opportunities and prohibit work that is harmful to their health and safety. For employees under the age of 18 there are rules regarding compensation, occupations and industries they may work in, as well as the hours they may work. Each state also has a set of child labor standards to abide by.

Visit the Department of Labor for more information on the FLSA and also be sure to check with your local state offices on specific standards in your state.

G.Neil carries an entire line of labor law compliance solutions to help you understand both the FLSA and OSHA, before hiring teens for the summer. Take a look and be sure you know the right way to hire and manage teen employees this summer and all year round.

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