Older teens, or young people 18 years old and older, generally can work as much as they want during a work week. The law places the greatest restrictions on 14 and 15-year-olds. Teens who are 16 and 17 years old are generally free to work when they want. However, they need to refer to the laws in their state.
The following topics are covered in this article:
- The Fair Labor Standards Acts
- General Guidelines
- Hours Set for 14 and 15-Year-Olds
- Rules for 16 and 17-Year-Olds
- Types of Approved Employment
- The Limit is Removed for Teens 18 Years Old and Older
The Fair Labor Standards Acts
The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA is used to set the wage and hours worked for individuals who are considered a minor. Minors are people who are under the age of 18 years old. Rules can vary, depending on the a teen’s age and the job.
However, as a general guideline, the FLSA establishes 14 years of age as a minimum age of employment and restricts the number of hours worked for teens that are under 16. Therefore, how much a teenager can work is contingent on whether he or she is 14 or 15 years old. Other teens, or young people 16 years and 17 years old, generally can work the number of hours posted by the employer. However, they still need to refer to their state guidelines to make sure they are working within the proper timeframe.
Hours Set for 14 and 15-Year-Olds
So, if you are currently 14 or 15 years of age, you have to abide by the measures that are set for teens in this age group. Teens in this age group then may work hours that fall outside the hours they attend school. Work can be obtained in a variety of non-manufacturing, non-hazardous, or non-mining venues. The number of hours permitted for work are set as follows:
- Three hours on a school day
- Eighteen hours for the week overall
- Eight hours for a non-school day, or Saturday or Sunday
- Forty hours for a non-school week, or during summer break
- Between the hours of 7 am and 7pm, except during the summer (June 1 through Labor Day). At that time, teens can work until 9 pm.
So, a 14 or 15-year-old can work a total of 18 hours during a school week. If they have a weekend job then, they can only work those days to stay within the limits. The number of hours of work per week, however, increases during the summer time. During the break, students may work as much as 40 hours, and between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm during the warmer months.
To break down the work week further, teens 14 and 15 years old cannot work any more than 3 hours per day, or 18 hours per week during a school week and no more than 8 hours on a non-school day or 40 hours for a non-school week.
Rules for 16 and 17-Year-Olds
In the case of any employee who is 16 or 17 years old, the limit a teen can work is based on his or her state law. Generally, during the summer time, teens who are 16 and 17 years old can work up to 48 hours. Therefore, a teen this old cannot work over 8 hours per day, 6 days week.
Types of Approved Employment
Students who are at least 16 years of age can work in most non-farm types of jobs. However, you have to wait until you are 18 years old to work in non-farm type jobs that have been declared as hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
The Limit is Removed for Teens 18 Years Old and Older
In order to determine how many hours you can work per week, again, you have to refer to the laws for your state. No cap is set for teens who are 18 years old or older. When it comes to schedules, younger teens, or young people 16 years old or under generally cannot take jobs where they work between 10 pm and 6am unless they work in restaurants, where they can work until midnight on a Friday or Saturday, or on days when school is not in session.
So, what do you think of the law? Do you think it is fair? What type of employment can you obtain that meets with the required hours?