It’s that time of year again. March Madness, spring break, and teens that are looking forward to summer and getting a job, or working extra hours at their current job during spring break. What does this mean as a Minnesota employer?

Wages – The youth wage rate is (as of January 1, 2018) $7.87/hr. for teens under 18. Since federal is lower (currently $4.25), the higher rate applies to Minnesota employers.

Work Hours – Here is what I get asked about most (as always, there are some quirky exceptions which I have omitted):

  • Under 14 – Can only be employed as newspaper carrier, in agriculture, as an actor/model/actress, or a youth referee.
  • Under 16
    • During school year:
      • Cannot work before 7 am or after 9 pm or during school hours (this basically means they can only work after school until 9 pm)
      • Cannot work more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours per day (except ag)
    • During summer:
      • Cannot work before 7 am or after 9 pm
      • Cannot work more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours per day
  • Age 16 & 17
    • During school year:
      • Cannot work after 11 pm on an evening before school day
      • Cannot work before 5:30 am
      • Parents may approve expansion to 4:30 pm and 11:30 pm
    • During summer:  work away!

Type of Work – Also, I’d be remiss not to remind employers that teens are limited in certain work or jobs, the full list can be found here. For example, under 16 cannot operate machinery, portable power-driven tools/machinery (drills, sanders, polishing, etc.), meat slicers, and bakery machinery.  Examples for under 18, they cannot operate power-driven machinery such as forklifts, saws, logging or paper operations, gravel pits, building maintenance more than 12 feet above ground level, woodworking machinery.