As the snow has melted (though I suspect it’s not done), I’m hopefully optimistic that it will start to green up – and soon.  As I see the various “help wanted” signs around town, I thought it may be time for a quick thought or two on paying teens in Minnesota this summer.0HCMIT272C

Define “Teen” – Can I Employ My Friend’s 13 Year Old?

First, let’s put the 13 and under children aside – the Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act states that they may not be employed in the traditional sense, with some exceptions (such as newspaper carrier, model, actress, agricultural field worker, babysitting, youth referee, etc.).  Minn. Stat. 181A.07.  However, 14 year old and up are fair game…with some special restrictions (that’d be a whole other article).

Can I Pay Teens Less Than An Adult – Recoup Texting Time?!

Minnesota’s Youth wage (under 18 years) is $7.75 as of August 1, 2016…the same as the 90 day training wage (under 20 years old)…and the small employer wage (gross revenue of less than $500,000 and not subject to FLSA).  And remember, Minnesota does not allow a tip credit, so teens working in a restaurant must make at least $7.75 per hour – guaranteed.  Texting – that’s a discipline issue!

If you are a large employer, as of August 1, 2016, the minimum wage is $9.50 per hour.  Keep in mind that if an employer is covered by another statue such as prevailing wages (state or federal) – the higher hourly wages apply.

Recordkeeping Considerations

An employer of teens must maintain proof of age as a part of payroll records.  This can be in the form of a birth certificate, copy of driver’s permit or license or I-9.  Don’t forget to keep a copy of whatever you look at to verify the age.