November 21, 2018
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State loosens restrictions on teen workers

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Brittany Woods (right) scoops ice cream into a cup while Tori Dyer waits on customers at Gifford’s Ice Cream stand in Bangor in this BDN file photo. A new change in state labor rules will allow teens who are at least 16 years old to work along in cash-based businesses.

State labor officials announced Monday it has revised its rules governing minors in the workplace, largely loosening restrictions on teenage workers except those hoping to work with medicinal marijuana.

The rule changes will, among other things, allow 16-year-olds to work alone in cash-based businesses and do soldering and welding work, and will allow 14- and 15-year-olds to do some tasks defined as “cooking,” such as at lunch counters and snack bars.

Previously, workers younger than the age of 16 could not be employed doing any “cooking and baking.”

The revisions are meant to align the state with federal labor standards, according to a Monday afternoon news release from the Maine Department of Labor.

Additionally, the department announced a rule that prohibits those under the age of 18 from working at marijuana dispensaries or other marijuana-related businesses.

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