From the community

State offers summer employment tips for minors

Posted June 11, 2014, at 12:11 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — As school gets out for the summer, the Maine Department of Labor reminds youths looking for summer jobs that the work-permit application is available online. All minors under the age of 16 must have a work permit before they start a job, regardless of whether they attend school.

There are some restrictions based on age and type of work. For teens under the age of 16, restrictions limit the kinds of jobs and the hours they can work. Minors cannot work jobs considered “hazardous.” Some of the jobs Maine teens under 18 years of age cannot do include operating most mechanical equipment, driving for work and working alone in a cash-based business.

During non-school weeks in the summer, minors can work more hours than they can when school is in session, although hazardous duties protections still apply. Minors ages 14 and 15 can work 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day, but no more than six days a week; minors 16 and 17 can work 50 hours a week, 10 hours a day, but no more than six days a week.

“Before going to work, however, there are several steps teens must take to obtain a work permit,” advised Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette, said in a state press release. “First, they must look for work and receive a job offer. They then must apply for a work permit at the superintendent’s office of the school district in which they live.”

Teens or parents can download the work-permit application at http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/publications/mainework_permit.pdf, and drop off the completed form, which must include a parent’s signature, at the superintendent’s office. Blank forms are available at superintendent’s offices for pick up as well.

Parents and employers can expedite the approval process by making sure the work permit request includes both proof of age and parental/guardian approval. The application must contain the specific job duties (e.g., “dishwasher”). The name of the business on the permit must be the actual business name, which may be different from what people commonly call it.

The school district sends the completed application to the Maine Department of Labor for approval. Teens can have two active work permits in the summer but only one permit during the school year.

A copy of the Guide to Maine Laws Governing the Employment of Minors is posted on the Maine Department of Labor website and is available by request by calling (207) 623-7900. Additional forms and information about employment law in Maine are available at the Bureau of Labor Standards’ website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls/index.shtml .

Businesses with questions about employment rules, wage and hour law and unemployment taxes can call the Maine Department of Labor’s customer service line at (207) 623-7900. Our staff will connect you with experts in the area of the law that addresses your question or concern. For more information, visit http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls .

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