Sidestepping the Pitfalls of Seasonal Hiring – An Employer’s Information to Bringing Aboard Minors, Interns, and Volunteers this Summer time


Amid the headlines reporting on the “Nice Resignation” and America’s “Labor Disaster,” employers are looking for options to the present workforce scarcity. In line with a latest report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a whopping 94% of state and native chambers stated companies have been discovering it tough or very tough to search out staff. As summer time approaches and plenty of employers transfer into their busiest season, you might be taking a look at staffing choices you might have by no means thought of previously, together with hiring teen staff, creating internship packages, and providing volunteer alternatives. All or any of these could also be viable choices in your group, however there are a bunch of potential compliance pitfalls that it’s good to think about. Here’s a information to bringing aboard minors, interns, and volunteers this summer time.

Using Minors

Each federal and state legal guidelines prohibit the time of day and variety of hours that minors can work, the kind of work that minors can carry out, and the gear they will use. The Truthful Labor Requirements Act (FLSA) is the federal regulation that governs baby labor and the Division of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is the company charged with its enforcement. The FLSA permits states to enact extra restrictive baby labor legal guidelines, so you have to pay attention to any native restrictions as effectively. In conditions the place the federal regulation and state regulation differ, you have to comply with the regulation that gives probably the most safety for the minor.

Days and Hours of Employment

  • Age 18 – These staff who’re 18 and older don’t have any restrictions on the kind of work they could carry out or their work hours.
  • Ages 16 and 17 – Below the FLSA, minors aged 16 and 17 could be employed for limitless hours in any occupation apart from these deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. That is an space the place some state legal guidelines differ. For instance, Indiana, California, and Ohio have restrictions on the variety of hours and occasions of days this age group may go.
  • Ages 14 and 15 – You might be restricted within the days and hours you may make use of youngsters on this age vary as follows:
    • The work should be exterior faculty hours;
    • They will work not more than three hours on a faculty day, together with Fridays, and not more than eight hours on a non-school day;
    • They will work not more than 18 hours in every week when faculty is in session and not more than 40 hours in every week when faculty is just not in session; and
    • They can not work earlier than 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., besides from June 1 by Labor Day when they could work till 9 p.m.


  • Ages 16 and 17 – The FLSA prohibits minors aged 16 and 17 from working in occupations that the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous. At present, there are 17 Hazardous Occupations:
    • HO 1. Manufacturing or storing explosives;
    • HO 2. Driving a motorcar or work as an outdoor helper on motor automobiles;
    • HO 3. Coal mining—bans most jobs in coal mining;
    • HO 4. Occupations in forest fireplace preventing, forest fireplace prevention, timber tract, forestry service, and occupations in logging and sawmilling operations;
    • HO 5. Energy-driven woodworking machines;
    • HO 6. Publicity to radioactive substances and ionizing radiation;
    • HO 7. Energy-driven hoisting equipment;
    • HO 8. Energy-driven metal-forming, punching and shearing machines;
    • HO 9. Mining, apart from coal;
    • HO 10. Energy-driven meat-processing machines, slaughtering and meat and poultry packing crops;
    • HO 11. Energy-driven bakery machines;
    • HO 12. Balers, compactors, and power-driven paper-products machines;
    • HO 13. Manufacturing of brick, tile, and associated merchandise;
    • HO 14. Energy-driven round saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wooden chippers, and abrasive chopping discs;
    • HO 15. Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations;
    • HO 16. Roofing operations and work carried out on or a few roof; and
    • HO 17. Trenching and excavation operations.

There are restricted exemptions for a number of of the hazardous occupations for 16 and 17-year-olds who’re apprentices or student-learners enrolled in accepted packages. 

It is very important bear in mind how these occupations could cross into sudden areas. In two latest WHD baby labor investigations, one involving a grocery retailer and one a bakery, the kid labor violations didn’t stem from the grocery retailer’s meat slicer or the bakery’s dough mixer.  Slightly, the violation stemmed from the easy process of trash elimination the place the trash was loaded in a trash compactor, which violated HO 12.  

These investigations function good reminders that it is best to evaluation the entire job duties that will likely be assigned to minor staff and examine these with DOL’s prohibited occupations. You must also examine state regulation, which can have extra restrictions on the sorts of occupations that staff beneath 18 can work.

One other space that may create confusion for employers is driving. Below the FLSA, no worker beneath 17 years of age could drive a motorcar on public roads as a part of their job. Minors who’ve reached the age of 17 could drive on public roadways as a part of their employment, however solely throughout sunlight hours on an “occasional and incidental” foundation, and topic to a number of different stringent restrictions. Importantly, 17-year-olds are usually not permitted to make pressing, time-sensitive deliveries, similar to pizza deliveries.

  • Ages 14 and 15 – Along with Hazardous Occupations, minors aged 14 – 15 are additionally prohibited from working in:
    • Manufacturing, mining, or processing occupations;
    • Occupations that contain hoisting equipment (working, tending, organising, adjusting, cleansing, oiling, or repairing);
    • Work carried out in or about boiler or engine rooms, together with restore and upkeep;
    • Occupations that contain working, tending, organising, adjusting, cleansing, oiling, or repairing any power-driven equipment, together with however not restricted to garden mowers, golf carts, all-terrain automobiles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, meals slicers, meals grinders, meals choppers, meals processors, meals cutters, and meals mixers;
    • Working motor automobiles and serving as helpers on motor automobiles;
    • Exterior window washing that entails working from windowsills, and all work requiring using ladders, scaffolds, or related gear;
    • Very restricted baking and cooking actions;
    • Work in freezers and meat coolers and restricted work making ready meat on the market;
    • Youth peddling (often known as door-to-door gross sales);
    • Loading and unloading of products or property onto or from motor automobiles, railroad vehicles, or conveyors;
    • Catching and cooping of poultry for transport or for market;
    • Public messenger service; and
    • Occupations in reference to:
      • Transportation of individuals or property;
      • Warehousing and storage;
      • Communications and public utilities; and
      • Building, with exceptions for some workplace and gross sales work.

Restricted exceptions to those prohibitions could also be out there for kids enrolled in an accepted Work Expertise and Profession Exploration Program or Work-Examine Program. 

The kid labor rules present course on the sorts of work youth ages 14 -15 are permitted to carry out, together with:

  • Workplace and clerical work;
  • Work of an mental or artistically artistic nature;
  • Cooking with electrical or gasoline grills which doesn’t contain cooking over an open flame;
  • Cashiering, promoting, modeling, artwork work, work in promoting departments, window trimming, and comparative purchasing;
  • Value marking and tagging by hand or machine, assembling orders, packing, and shelving;
  • Bagging and finishing up prospects’ orders;
  • Errand and supply work by foot, bicycle, and public transportation;
  • Clear up work, together with using vacuum cleaners and flooring waxers, and the upkeep of grounds (however not together with using power-driven mowers, cutters, trimmers, edgers, or related gear);
  • Kitchen work and different work concerned in making ready and serving meals and drinks;
  • Cleansing greens and fruits, and the wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stocking of things, together with greens, fruits, and meats, when carried out in areas bodily separate from a freezer or meat cooler;
  • The loading onto motor automobiles and the unloading from motor automobiles of sure gadgets; and
  • Lifeguarding at conventional swimming swimming pools and water amusement parks (provided that 15 years of age and topic to a number of different restrictions).

Importantly, any job that isn’t particularly permitted for this age group is prohibited. 

  • Age 13 – These staff who’re 13 or youthful could typically:
    • Ship newspapers to properties of subscribers or customers;
    • Child-sit on an informal foundation;
    • Work as an actor or performer in movement footage, tv, theater, or radio; and
    • Work in a enterprise solely owned or operated by the youth’s mother and father (however not in manufacturing, mining or any occupation deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor).

Work Permits/Age Certificates

Work permits and age certificates are usually not required beneath the FLSA, however many states require them for staff of sure ages. Work permits are normally issued by the native faculty authority or the state labor division. States which have work allow necessities typically require employers to evaluation the work allow documentation earlier than hiring a minor. 

Some states require that you just get hold of an age certificates earlier than hiring a minor. These are sometimes issued by the states wherein the minor works, however DOL will concern age certificates if the minor worker’s state doesn’t. A sound, unexpired federal certificates of age or a certificates issued by a state designated by DOL offers proof {that a} minor is at the very least the minimal age to work in a specific occupation and it might present a protection to a declare for baby labor violations. 

Meal and Relaxation Breaks

Along with the times and hours of employment necessities, you have to additionally adjust to relevant state regulation obligations associated to meal and relaxation breaks. These typically embody provisions on the variety of meal and/or relaxation breaks that should be supplied, when they need to be supplied, and the way lengthy they need to final. Whereas the FLSA doesn’t require meal or relaxation breaks, the rules require that relaxation breaks that final between 5 and 20 minutes should be paid. Meal durations of half-hour or extra could also be unpaid.   


Employers who rent minors could also be required to show extra postings. Federal regulation requires FLSA-covered employers to conspicuously submit the “Worker Rights Below the Truthful Labor Requirements Act” poster, which incorporates data associated to baby labor. Some states have their very own separate baby labor posters and might also require you to submit age-related permits or certificates, an inventory of the minors employed, or their meal and relaxation breaks.

Creating Internship Packages

You may additionally be contemplating internship packages to assist alleviate your staffing woes. The Nationwide Affiliation of Faculties and Employers reported that employers anticipate to spice up their intern hiring by over 22% for the educational 12 months that’s wrapping up this summer time. Nevertheless, watch out to not suppose that internships are a ready-made resolution that will help you fill open roles or in any other case exchange departed staff, as they don’t seem to be essentially like-for-like replacements in your paid staff.

As a basic rule, the FLSA requires “for-profit” employers to pay staff for work. In some cases, nonetheless, interns and college students might not be thought of “staff” and subsequently might not be entitled to compensation.

To find out whether or not an employment relationship exists between and employer and an intern, courts look at the “financial actuality” of the connection to see which social gathering is the “major beneficiary” of the connection. If the employer is the first beneficiary, the intern should be paid. If the intern is the first beneficiary, the intern could also be unpaid.

7-Issue Take a look at

The “major beneficiary check” contains seven components. The check is versatile and no single issue is determinative, so the dedication about whether or not the person needs to be thought of a paid worker or an unpaid intern is made on a case-by-case foundation.

  1. The extent to which the intern and employer clearly understood that there’s no expectation of compensation (any promise of compensation suggests the intern is an worker);
  2. The extent to which the internship offers coaching that might be just like that which might be given in an academic setting;
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal schooling program by built-in coursework or the receipt of educational credit score;
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s educational commitments by equivalent to the educational calendar;
  5. The extent to which the internship’s period is restricted to the interval wherein the internship offers the intern with useful studying;
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work enhances, relatively than displaces, the work of paid staff whereas offering important instructional advantages to the intern; and
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer perceive the internship is performed with out entitlement to a paid job on the conclusion of the internship.

State legal guidelines could have separate internship necessities, so it is best to look at the necessities beneath each federal and state regulation. You must also evaluation instructional documentation to make sure your internship program aligns with the objectives and strategy of the intern’s instructional program. It’s possible you’ll wish to coordinate with native faculties and universities to outline the parameters of the internship program and to acquire help figuring out candidates who could also be thinking about an internship. 

To keep away from blurring strains between staff and interns, you shouldn’t use interns to fill open positions. You must also chorus from giving any assurances of a job after the internship ends.

Drafting Volunteers

For public sector and non-profit organizations, volunteers might also be a viable choice to ease a few of the present pressure they’re feeling. This isn’t the case for personal sector, for-profit employers.

DOL steerage signifies {that a} volunteer typically is not going to be thought of an worker for FLSA functions if the person freely volunteers for public service, non secular, or humanitarian targets, and with out contemplation or receipt of compensation. Examples could embody members of a males’s or girls’s group helping sufferers in nursing properties, mother and father studying to college students in a faculty library, or people driving a faculty bus to move a faculty band on a visit. 

To be thought of a “volunteer,” the person:

  • Sometimes serves on a part-time foundation;
  • Doesn’t displace common staff or carry out work that might in any other case be carried out by an everyday worker; and
  • Doesn’t anticipate to obtain compensation.

Volunteers who’re employed by a non-profit group could not volunteer to supply the identical sorts of providers to their non-profit group that they’re employed to carry out. Volunteers could also be paid bills, cheap advantages, a nominal payment, or any mixture thereof for his or her service with out dropping their standing as volunteers. Nevertheless, these funds can’t be an alternative to compensation or tied to productiveness.


By understanding the precise guidelines surrounding volunteers, interns, and minors, you might be able to develop a brand new crop of worthwhile expertise to your group this summer time. These new relationships may very well be rewarding to each the people you convey aboard and your small business. If your small business needs to retain help of volunteers, interns, or minors this summer time, it is best to contact your your Fisher Phillips lawyer, the writer of this Perception, or any lawyer in Wage and Hour Apply Group for help.

Fisher Phillips will proceed to observe this space and supply updates as applicable. Be sure to are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Perception System to get probably the most up-to-date data.


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