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Labor Daze: Part-Time Summer Jobs

The Right Job for Any Age

You can't assume child labor laws are always enforced. The parent is the ultimate authority. Prepare yourself with a look at what the U.S. Department of Labor says tweens and teens can do and when.

13 and under

When they can work: At the discretion of parents, for neighbors and friends' parents they know well and trust.
Good options: Babysitting, delivering newspapers, petsitting, and collecting mail for vacationing neighbors, shoveling snow or doing yard work (but no power equipment), performing and assisting in businesses owned by their parents.

14- and 15-year-olds

When they can work: Cannot coincide with school hours, and must be between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (hours are extended to 9 p.m. in the summer); up to 3 hours on a school day; up to 18 hours in a school week; up to 8 hours on a non-school day; up to 40 hours during a non-school week.
Good options: Jobs that don't require your teen to make major decisions, like clerking in retail stores, assisting in a library, or filing papers in an office.

16- and 17-year-olds

When they can work: Any time of day, for any number of hours.
Good options: All positions except those declared hazardous by the Department of Labor (working with explosives, driving, mining, logging, roofing, excavating, demolition, anything that uses power-driven machines). Ideal jobs are those related to a teen's possible career choice.

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the May 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.