Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teenagers in the Workforce – Good or Bad?

(Free T-Shirts contest announced at bottom of this post)

When I was 16, I went to work. It was over the summer and I was doing some stock and truck unloading for a major retail chain in South Florida. I was treated like every other employer, except for the fact that at 11pm, I had to go, no matter if we were slow or slammed. If there was a big truck or shipment coming in at midnight, I was peddling my bike home.

I enjoyed working during my mid-teens. I had the opportunity to use my paychecks for leisure activities like the movies, dinners and buying CD’s (yes we bought CD’s back then). I even chipped in at the house if I had to.

Teens in the state of Florida have certain restrictions that prevent them from overworking themselves on school days and over exhausting themselves over the summer. Below is a chart of the Federal legal limits for which teens can work:

Teen Employment Maximum Hours (from http://712educators.about.com/cs/childlabor/a/teenemployment_2.htm)


Maximum Work Hours in the Summer

Maximum Work Hours During School Year

14 & 15 years old

6 hours per day; 30 hours per week.

3 hours per day; 18 hours per week

16 & 17 years old

8 hours per day; 40 hours per week No Federal Restrictions. Check with your state.

4 hours per day; 20 hours per week No Federal Restrictions. Check with your state.

under 16 years old

not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (Fed. and some state restrictions)

not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (Fed. and some state restrictions)

16 & 17

not before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

not before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

There are many upsides for teenagers to get a part time job be it during the school year or over the summer. They can include:
Helping out with bills
Money Management skills
Providing spending or free money
Time management skills
On the job training
Resume building
And more.

For however good a part time job may be, there are always negatives associated with them. Parents to teachers and everyone in between has an opinion on why teens should not be working before the age of 18. These can include:
Safety on the job
Careless employers who do not abide by Federal laws
Sleepiness during class hours
Poor performance in school
Bad money management – excess free spending money – Carefree spending
And more!

I had a great experience working in my teenage years and I suspect that many others have as well. However I do see where teens can fall into problems when working, going to school and maintaining a social schedule as well. Time is valuable and to teens it is a time in their life that they need to enjoy while continuing to learn and grow.

Orlando, I would like to know your thoughts, personal stories and opinions on teens working. The best comment will receive a Free Employment Guide T-Shirt. This contest will last until Monday, February 11th at 10am. At that time a winner will be selected and you will be sent your t-shirt via an e-mail confirmation. (You do not have to be from Orlando to win)

Good luck Orlando and happy hunting!

Greg Rollett


Cana July 9, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

I have same concerns on teens working at school days. I may want my son try a summer job.

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