THE LAW. Teens are a great source of labor, especially during the summer. But the federal Fair Labor Standards Act () sets strict limits on the hours they can work and the jobs they can perform, and those limits are different during school months and non-school months. Some states also have their own laws.
WHAT'S NEW? Your risks of running afoul of the law have increased, and penalties can be harsh. In 2001, the amount of time federal wage and hour investigators spent on child labor cases reached a five-year high. And the number of child labor violations they found last year jumped to 2,099, a 14 percent increase over the previous year.
Because youth employment swells in summer, many enforcement efforts are aimed at amusement parks, restaurants and retail shops. But the U.S. Labor Department is using other tactics.
Example: Its "Safe Child" initiative asks school districts to identify local companies that hir...(register to read more)