The Teen Workers' Bill of Rights
Work safe this summer. Learn a lesson for a lifetime.
When you work over the summer, you are on your way to learning valuable lessons that will last your lifetime. Your employer will expect a lot from you... that you be on time and do your best.
Equally, your employer should treat you fairly, pay you fairly, and provide a safe workplace. Even though you are a teenager, as a worker, you have rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws. Below is a list of workplace rights based on the Fair Labor Standards Act.
RIGHT 1: It Pays To Work...And Work Must Pay
I have the right to a fair and full day's pay for a fair and full day's work... to have my hours of work properly recorded and to be paid at least the federal minimum wage.
RIGHT 2: Overtime Work = Overtime Pay
I have the right to overtime pay (at least time and one half my regular rate of pay) for every hour I work beyond 40 hours a week. (However, this right arises under the FLSA, which contains significant exemptions for some jobs that teen workers may perform.)
RIGHT 3: Safety Is Part Of The Job
I have the right to a safe workplace and the right to file a complaint if the job is unsafe. I have the right to required safety clothing, equipment and training. Note: If I'm under 18, I'm prohibited from certain tasks: manufacturing/storing explosives; driving a motor vehicle or being an outside helper on one, except under limited circumstances; coal mining; logging/saw milling; using power driven wood-working, hoisting, slicing or baking machines; being exposed to radioactive substances/ionizing radiations; mining; meat packing; manufacturing brick, tile and related products; wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations. Limited exceptions apply for some apprentices and student learners. Additional restrictions apply to workers 15 and younger. If I'm under 16, my employer is not permitted to have me work past 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day.
RIGHT 4: No Harassment Hassles
I have the right to equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability in an environment free of sexual and physical harassment.
Work should add to your life experience, not take away from it. Remember, you owe it to yourself and your colleagues to provide the basic framework for a rewarding experience. Here's what you can do to have a more enjoyable work experience:
- Ask your employer for a clear explanation of when you'll be paid, how much, and how often.
- Ask your employer to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your studies.
- Ask your employer questions about safety.
- Treat your coworkers with respect; they should treat you the same way.