Hey, kid, get a job!

If you’re tempted to say that to the teenagers in your house, and thankful that someone else will be employing them this summer, remember that somewhere out there other parents are saying the very same thing to their teens. And you may end up employing them.

Surf’s up: For a complete set of rules for employing teens, including safety tips, consult the Department of Labor’s website, youthrules.dol.gov. Reminder: Between June 1 and Labor Day, 14- and 15-year-olds can work up to eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, but not past 9 p.m. Work hours for teens aged 16-18 aren’t restricted. Regardless of age, minors can’t work in hazardous jobs.

PAYROLL PRACTICE TIP: State law controls the age at which teens must obtain age certificates, working papers or parental consent letters, and how long you must retain those documents. To help you get a handle on this crucial paperwork requirement, the chart below summarizes these laws. States that don’t have any requirements for working papers aren’t listed. To get the full story on child labor laws, contact your state labor department.


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State document requirements for employing teens