Are you looking to hire staff over the summer months? Are you considering hiring someone under 18? In my last article, I discussed the benefits of employing your children in your business. But what if you are hiring a youth that is not your own child? Are you aware there are specific labor laws guiding who you can hire and how many hours they can work?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum age for employment (14 years for non-agricultural jobs), restricts the hours youth under the age of 16 may work, and prohibits those under the age of 18 from being employed in hazardous occupations. States also have guidelines that may be stricter than the federal regulations, so make sure you check your state labor board as well. To find out state regulations, see

Hours worked by 14 and 15 year-olds are limited during the school year. For information on hours during the year, see  For the summer months, they can work between 7am and 9pm June 1 through Labor Day.

In non-agricultural work, the permissible jobs by age are as follows:

Workers 18 years or older may perform any job whether hazardous or not

Workers 16 & 17 years old may perform any jobs not deemed hazardous  

Workers 14 & 15 years old may work outside school hours in certain specified jobs 

There is no minimum age for youth who work in businesses owned by their parents (except mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs). For a list of hazardous jobs, see

Many states require work permits to be issued.  Potential candidates should check if their state requires them before beginning work.

Offering employment to minors can benefit you as well as the youth, but make sure you follow the guidelines that are the most stringent for your area to guarantee you are in compliance with all labor laws.

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