May 20, 2008

Do your kids want to work this summer?

I was 16 when I got my first real job working as a floater at a department store. (Boring, minimum wage of $5 per hour, too easy to spend the little I did make because of the 30% employee discount, but I figured it was better than McDonald's. And mostly, I was an ignorant teen who didn't know a darn thing about saving.)

My friend's daughter, who is 13, has a much better first job. She'll be "working" as a camp counselor-in-training. Since she's too young to be employed under California law, she's officially a volunteer. But she gets a $500 cash "scholarship" at the end of the summer. Not bad for a 13-year-old.

If your child wants to work this summer, there are some legal rules you'll need to know, such as whether a permit is required and how many hours per day and week your child is allowed to work. The federal government's blog, Gov Gab, has a handy post with links to helpful sources.

The most important link is worth bookmarking. It's the U.S. Department of Labor's Youth Rules site, and is all about the federal and state rules for young workers. If you have kids who are old enough to work (or will soon), I highly recommend checking it out.

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