Legislators have passed federal, state and local laws to protect employees who are teenagers or children. For example, children and teenagers can usually be employed only during hours that don’t conflict with school, and their total weekly work hours are generally restricted. Additionally, employers must take every precaution to protect younger employees from such threats as sexual harassment on the job.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the minimum age for employment (14 years for non-agricultural jobs), restricts the hours when employees under the age of 16 may work and prohibits people under the age of 18 from being employed in hazardous occupations. States also set standards for employing people younger than 18. When federal and state standards are different, the rules that provide the most protection to youth workers will apply.
The Labor Department provides information about non-farm workers under age 18 that addresses such issues as:
To learn more about how our government protects youth workers, visit these Labor Department links.
Since the Civil War, veterans have been given hiring preference for federal jobs. Private employers need not give hiring preference to veterans unless the employer meets certain guidelines and receives work under specific types of federal government contracts.
Each year, the Labor Department releases a list of the Top 50 Military-Friendly Private Employers.
Additional rights are granted to those who have recently returned from military service and are seeking to be re-employed in their former jobs. These individuals are covered by the provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act. This act addresses such privileges as:
However, the act clearly states that veterans’ rights under this act are enforceable only if the veteran:
Veterans are entitled to other privileges as well. For example, the Family Medical Leave Act’s 2008 amendment provides longer periods of leave — up to 26 weeks — for disabled veterans.
The Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t specifically address part-time workers. Certain employees hired under federal law, however, may have their part-time wages determined under the Davis-Bacon and related acts.
Private employers should consult with an employment law attorney to determine if state statutes require specific wages or benefits for part-time employees if the federal law does not specify.