Getting a job at a young age can give motivation and purpose to minors. However, employers must uphold lawful practices when hiring and employing young people.
Education about law requirements for minors can help workers and their families advocate for fairness. With the right approach, having a job can provide critical support, experience and satisfaction for the nation’s youngest workforce members.
Clear expectations for job-related duties
Despite the capability of some minors, the law prohibits employers from allowing minors to perform hazardous tasks. Some employers may need to modify tasks for younger workers or give the responsibility to an older, more experienced worker. Employers need to provide clear expectations about what a minor is and is not allowed to do. They should also clarify how often breaks should occur throughout a shift.
Adequate breaks and pay
Minors should not follow the same work hours as more experienced, older peers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the law requires employers to comply with limits on work hours. Businesses that keep detailed records for each of their minor employees can review these records regularly to ensure compliance and to protect their youngest employees.
Periodic training and instruction
All workers can benefit from periodic training and instruction to help them perform their jobs with more effectiveness and confidence. Minors are no exception and can stay safer when they understand the proper way to perform their job duties. The Ohio Department of Commerce says that minors and their families can file a complaint if they notice any discrepancies such as unfair pay, inadequate breaks, exposure to hazardous conditions or requirements to work during restricted hours.
Young workers deserve to have a job without concerns about safety and fairness. Employers should do their part to make this possible.