Summer is right around the corner! That means it’s time to hire teenagers for those summer jobs.  Hiring minors is a great way to navigate some of the difficulties many are facing in the current labor market. Many teenagers are hard working and eager to put their newly learned skills to good use.

Many kids between 14-18 may not have worked before, and qualify for minimum wage, entry level positions.   This is good news for a company budget. There can also be some pleasant surprises in this demographic.

Teens today might surprise you with the acumen they have gathered.  Need some help with your social media?  Want to make a TikTok?  Hire a teen! Most teenagers in 2022 are highly savvy on a computer, so you can put those skills to use. Additionally, most teens are ready to interact with other people after being isolated for so long during the pandemic. Getting that paycheck is also a great incentive. Think beyond lifeguards, babysitting, and fast food.  Put a teen to work on updating your OSHA Safety Data Sheet (SDS) book, or that stack of filing you can’t seem to get to. Today’s teen can answer phones, work the register, clean up after customers, and even handle customer service work.

While teens are a great addition to your workforce, it is important to keep in mind that child labor laws do exist, even when school is not in session.  Here are the rules to employ those under 18 when school is out:

Ages 14-15 may work:

Ages 16-17 may work:

*There are no hour restrictions if employed in domestic services, as a performer, or farm worker

All youth under 18 are prohibited from working in Hazardous Occupations, including:

  • Work involving Poisonous Chemicals
  • Manufacturing of Paints or Leads
  • Construction or Packaging of Matches
  • Manufacturing of Goods for Immoral Purposes
  • Mines or Quarries
  • Smelting or Ore Reduction
  • Laundry
  • Work in Tobacco or Cigar Factories
  • Distilleries, Breweries, and the Like
  • Work with Power-Driven Machinery
  • Railroad Related Work
  • Explosives

If you are thinking about hiring teenagers this summer, be mindful of the rules, and be willing to spend some time in training. If a young person is applying for the job, chances are good that they want to work, and will show up (and work hard) if given the opportunity. If you are lucky, they will enjoy the job and want to continue working part time when school resumes.