Hiring a Teen this Summer? Make Sure you Know and Follow the Child Labor Laws


Every year nearly 30 teens under 18 die from work injuries in the United States. Another 27,000 get hurt badly enough that they go to a hospital emergency room. When you employee a teen between the ages of 14-17 years old please make sure that you are adhering to all of the child labor and safety laws.


As an employer you must provide the following to your teen worker:

• A safe and healthful workplace.

• Training on chemicals and other health and safety hazards.

• Clothing and equipment that protects the teen worker.

• 1/2 hour meal break after no more than 5 hours; 10 minute rest period after each 4 hours. • Workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job. These include: Medical care for their injury, whether or not they miss time from work.

Payments if they lose wages for more than 3 days.

Other benefits if they become permanently disabled.

• Teens also have a right to:

Report safety problems to Cal/OSHA.

Work without racial or sexual harassment.

Refuse to work if they could be killed or badly hurt by doing the task.

Join or form a union.

• Make sure they have a current work permit

• Pay them at least the state's minimum wage (household workers such as babysitters and mother's helpers are exempt from this).

• California's minimum wage as of January 1st, 2019

* $12/hr for employers with 26 or more employees

* $11/hr for employers with 25 or less employees.

• There are also restrictions according to industry. Please read here to learn more

(information adapted from youngworkers.org)

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