In some states, the month of May is Safe Jobs for Youth Month. Communities benefit greatly by having teens in the workforce. Employment teaches young people important skills, including responsibility, timeliness, honesty, teamwork, resourcefulness, communication skills and confidence.
Many states have departments of labor that work with employers and parents to help keep young workers safe and healthy. Youth will benefit from learning these valuable life lessons. Fast food, grocery stores, general retail, and lawn care are the most popular jobs for teenagers. Most states have laws that restrict the age, number of hours, and occupations youth can work during the school year and in the summer.
Tips for Youth Employers and Parents
Youth employment safety starts at home. It is also an important responsibility of employers. It’s vital for the parents along with employers of young workers to make sure that young employees know how to be safe. Teens need to be able to identify potential safety risks. Together, we can work to keep young employees safe in the workplace. At the same time they will gain valuable skills to guide them into the future.
Here are a few key things to consider as kids head off to work:
- Be aware of how youth employment laws impact different ages, particularly 14-15 year old youth workers.
- Know the name of your child’s employer, as well as any location he or she may be working.
- Look up the law on acceptable work hours for youth and be a part of the discussion when determining your child’s schedule. Often, this information is included on State Labor Law Posters.
- Do some research and find out if the employer stresses safety on the job. Do they provide workers’ compensation insurance and if so, who is their carrier?
- Find out what specific types of work your child will be doing and verify that those tasks are allowed under youth employment laws.
- Know the potential hazards of the work being done and ensure that proper training will take place to ensure your child’s/ employee’s safety.
Our communities benefit as we all work together to prepare our young people to be valuable assets while also being safe in the workplace.