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Before your teen gets a job

Allowing your young teenager to get a job in middle school or high school is a big step with lots of considerations. It could be an important opportunity to teach responsibility and many other character traits. You may hope that the job will help your teen develop a strong work ethic and learn new skills, or allow him or her to save for college and learn how to budget with a real income.

Along with the potential for benefits, though, is the concern that the job would be too strenuous or dangerous, or that working will interfere with school, extracurricular activities and important social events. Lawmakers have considered these and other factors, as well, and state and federal laws set limits on how much and where your teen can work.

Under 14 years old

According to the Nevada statutes, you could be guilty of a misdemeanor if your 13-year-old or younger child gets a job without a permit from a judge or another person authorized to sign such a document. There are exceptions, though. Your child could do housework, babysitting or farm work, deliver newspapers or be involved in entertainment, such as acting in a television or radio show or a movie. If you own a business, your child could also legally work for you as long as it does not involve a job considered hazardous, such as mining. Those who work in the entertainment industry are the only ones who may work during school hours.

Under 16 years old

The U.S. Department of Labor explains that your 14- or 15-year-old could get a job at an amusement park or similar establishment in addition to the same types of jobs available to younger workers. They still have limits on duties and hours, though. For example, teens under the age of 16 cannot do the following:

  • Operate rides, power-driven lawn mowers or similar machinery and equipment
  • Work in construction or in any situation requiring a ladder or scaffolding
  • Bake or clean cooking equipment
  • Use rapid broilers, pressure cookers, rotisseries or ovens, or cook over open flames

Your 14- or 15-year-old can work up to 40 hours a week when school is not in session, and 18 hours when it is. He or she can work three hours on any school day, and up to eight hours on a non-school day. Fridays count as school days. An employer may have a teen on the schedule at any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during non-school hours, although the evening limit is 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day.

Regardless of the legality, you want your teen to be safe, healthy and happy. If any employment issue arises, you may want to speak to an attorney to make sure the employer treats your teen fairly.

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