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    You Can Do it- Be an Educated Job Hunter

    Date: 06.26.11 | by Sierra Ferguson.

    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!

    SierraF

    This post was written by Sierra Ferguson. She's caffeinated, sixteen, and addicted to procedural crime shows. Sierra was first introduced to the law (at a young age) by Donald P. Belisarius's riveting television series "JAG", starring (most cheesily) a six foot four, ex-fighter pilot, named Harm. Since then, she has become an aspiring writer and a member of her high school's Mock Trial program (where she got to try her hand at litigation; defending and prosecuting fictional cases in real courtrooms). In today's world, the name John Locke will conjure more images of the "LOST" island, than the enlightenment's production of the basic rights of man (which inspired parts of the constitution, and arguably much of the basis of our legal system). That is why Sierra is thrilled to be writing for Ask the Judge. Teens need (and deserve) information about the law. "Caf-Pow" or "Starbucks" in hand, Sierra is ready to write about the law and the very real effects that it can have on you.

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    4 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Mon, 27 Jun 2011 at 12:33

      New blog post: You Can Do it- Be an Educated Job Hunter – Are you feeling a little like your diving blindly into a d… http://ow.ly/1dt65n

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Tue, 28 Jun 2011 at 03:39

      In our society, there are plenty of job opportunities for teenagers, you just have to know where to look. Researching online helps, so do personal connections.

    • Beth W.
      Sun, 31 Jul 2011 at 08:49

      Landing that first job is more about who you know than what you know.

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Sat, 27 Aug 2011 at 08:44

      Sierra I think you have a bright future as a writer. Thank you for sharing this post with the rest of us.

      My first job was nothing glamorous. A friend from a nearby high school helped me get my foot in the door.

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