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Hiring minors this summer?

07 May 2018 7:03 AM | Anonymous

Is your organization hiring temporary employees for the summer?  With the last day of school just around the corner, plenty of employers consider hiring minors for those temporary jobs.  And in Wisconsin, it just got easier to do so.

Wisconsin is one of the majority of states requiring a work permit for minors to work.  Last year, Governor Walker signed into law an Act that no longer required those 16 and older to obtain the work permit.  This year, Governor Walker signed additional bills into law that allow 15-year-olds to work as lifeguards and do not require minors working in family-owned businesses to obtain work permits.  With these changes to minor employment laws, and summer fast approaching, let's take a look at some other important reminders for employment minors:

Work permits.  These are still required for those under 16 years old.  While minors as young as 12 may be able to work, this is typically limited to agriculture or work in a business owned by parents.  Usually minors must be 14 to work.

  • Prohibited work.  Even with a work permit, minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from certain hazardous activities.  Both federal and state law dictate what is "hazardous" and this is also determined by age.  So if you plan to have a minor do any work that could be hazardous, check both laws.
  • Hours of work.  Wisconsin follows federal law for hours that a minor may work.  For 16 & 17 year olds, the only limitation is that they cannot be required to work during school hours.  For those under 16, they can work up to 8 hours per day (during the hours of 7 am - 9 pm), up to 40 hours per week.
  • Meal periods. Although those over 18 are not required to be provided a break in Wisconsin, minors must be provided 30 minutes if they work 6 consecutive hours. 
  • Minimum wage.  Minimum wage is $7.25, but employers can pay an "opportunity wage" of $5.90 to those between ages 16-20 for the first 90 days of employment. 
  • Poster.  If you hire minors in your workplace, don't forget to post the required Wisconsin poster.

You can find more information here:

* Wisconsin DWD: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/labor_standards/work_permit/employment_of_minors_guide.htm

* Federal DOL: https://www.youthrules


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