Ten Things You Need To Know To Avoid Labor Violations When Hiring Teens

16 Year Old Workers Are Not Allowed To Climb Ladders

This time of year businesses add a lot of help to deal with the holiday traffic. As many of these workers are teenagers I thought this would be a good time to look at some of the limitations regarding the use of teen workers.

Workers’ compensation and other insurance claims assume you are not breaking the law. Hiring teen workers comes with a new set of “Don’ts”.  In other words, as if you didn’t know… teenagers have their own set of rules.

1)     If workers are sixteen or under they are not allowed to climb ladders or work on scaffolding.  Actually, no working in building or construction at all.

2)     Wash or polish cars. I don’t really understand this one especially given all the fundraising car washes that every school and church seems to run. That said, don’t do it.

3)     Work in a warehouse unless they are working in a clerical capacity. No loading or unloading. No operating lifts or conveyors.

4)     Teens can’t work in a meat cooler or freezer. Yet they are allowed to stand in front of an open refrigerator for as long as they want. Oh wait, that’s at my house.

5)     Cook over an open flame. So how are all these kids working at McDonalds? The grills are gas or electric and there is no open flame. There’s also an exception in the law for working with deep fat fryers that automatically raise and lower the basket.  So they won’t get horribly burned. They will however get zits. It’s a trade off.

Here are five more if your worker is under 18

1)     No operating power machinery. This includes forklifts, dough mixers, meat slicers, wood and metal working machines and box crushers. So crush your own boxes.

2)     No handling or serving alcohol beverages.  Putting the bottle in a brown paper bag still seems safe.

3)     No working in any capacity if the job includes roofing, wrecking, meat processing, manufacturing explosives (good idea) or brick and tile.

4)     No driving a motor vehicle on public streets as part of the job

5)     Work after 10 PM when there is school the next day.

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