You Can Do it- Be an Educated Job Hunter
Are you feeling a little like your diving blindly into a dog-fight for jobs in an economy that’s in a place that needs plunging? You’re not alone. You might feel ready to answer the archaic call of Rosy the Riveter and jump into the job market. But there is some basic knowledge of labor laws, and the current minimum wage that you should be aware of.
As a general rule (nationally), anyone under the age of fourteen may not be eligible for employment. There are some exceptions to this rule. If you are at least ten years old, you may consider taking up a paper route. If you’d like to be a newsie (sans the singing and Christian Bale) talk to your parents and local newspaper about employment opportunities. If you have breached the barrier of the big one-four, then your options for employment are still rather limited. If you are under the age of sixteen, you may work no more than forty hours (which is usually considered a typical work week) when school is not in session. Additionally you may work no more than eighteen hours during the school year.
All minors may not work under what are deemed “hazardous conditions” by the secretary of labor. Jobs that involve operating heavy machinery, driving vehicles, excavation, mining, manufacturing explosives, etc. fall under this category. These restrictions are in place for your safety, so do not get discouraged. There are a significant number of jobs that can help you earn the experience (and money) that you want.
When taking a job, be aware of what the national wage standards are. Teenagers and young adults (under the age of 20) can be paid no less than $4.25 per hour. This is called a training wage. However, after your first ninety (calendar) days of employment, you must be paid at least minimum wage. An exception to this is if you have a job that involves tips (restaurant server, for example) or similar compensation. If you earn more than $30.00 a month in tips, your employer can pay you as low as $2.13 per hour. Currently minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The fact that an employer can pay you less than most adults (at least or the first 90 days of your employment) may make you a desirable candidate for hire.
Job searches are always tough. In this specific economic climate, they may even seem tougher. But, if you want and/or need a job be aware of your options. Always consult your parents before applying for a job, and keep your eyes open for openings. Labor laws often vary slightly from place to place. If you would like to learn more about labor laws specific to your state, visit your state’s website. Happy hunting!