Minor adjustments: Complying with federal teen labor rules

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in Employment Law,Hiring,Human Resources

It wasn't fun and games when stuffed-toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop was recently cited for child labor violations. According to a federal audit, the company allowed workers under age 18 to operate trash compactors and ride in freight elevators without an adult operator. The investigation found that 14 minors at five stores nationwide were performing prohibited tasks.

Build-a-Bear took a Draconian approach to the problem: It instituted a policy of not hiring anyone under 18. You don't have to go that far. It's fine to employ teenagers, as long as you follow the rules.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets strict limits on the hours teens can work and the jobs they can perform—and those limits are different during school months and nonschool months. Some states have their own child labor laws.

Your risk of running afoul of the laws has increased, and penalties can be harsh. A recent government study found ...(register to read more)

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