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The Downside of Teen Employment

What Can We Do About It?

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Actions You Can Take to Help With Teen Employment

  • Familiarize yourself with the Federal child labor laws.
  • Learn the child labor laws in your state.
  • Read about the problems with enforcing child labor laws.
  • Join the Child Labor Coalition.
  • Have students brainstorm the positive and negative consequences of teenagers having jobs and write expository or persuasive essays supporting one view or the other.
  • Open student's eyes to the rough realities of financial survival with an excerpt from The Teenagers Guide to the Real World.
  • Post the recommendations located at the end of this article from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health for the maximum number of hours students should work.

As long as hours are restricted and conditions are safe teens are likely to benefit from part time jobs. In fact, School to Work programs are showing promise of inspiring enthusiasm of even the most disinterested students. Read helpful information about School to Work programs and ways to introduce students to various aspects of employment and job searching.

Teen Employment Maximum Hours

Age Maximum Work Hours in the Summer Maximum Work Hours During School Year
14 & 15 years old 6 hours per day; 30 hours per week. 3 hours per day; 18 hours per week
16 & 17 years old 8 hours per day; 40 hours per week No Federal Restrictions. Check with your state. 4 hours per day; 20 hours per week No Federal Restrictions. Check with your state.
under 16 years old not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (Fed. and some state restrictions) not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (Fed. and some state restrictions)
16 & 17 not before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. not before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

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