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Make sure that you are not liable for employing underage workers

As an employer, it is likely that you employ people at many different levels, from experienced seniors to entry level workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has put in place many measures for making sure that workers are not employed too young, and that children are protected from performing hazardous or stressful jobs.

If you are an employer of entry level workers in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important that you understand exactly how the law works so that you can prevent your company from unintentionally breaking the law and stop costly disputes from arising.

When are children able to be legally employed in the workplace?

Generally speaking, if a job is not related to farming, an employee must be 16 years old at the very minimum before they start working. However, if the job at hand is considered to be hazardous or means that the worker could potentially put other people's lives in danger if he or she performs the job incompetently, the worker should be a minimum of 18 years old. For example, a worker should always be 18 years old before he or she works as a commercial driver, or before he or she works with hazardous machinery.

Employers are able to benefit from a lower minimum wage requirement for legal workers under the age of 20. For the first 90 days of a young worker's employment, their minimum wage will be set to $4.25 per hour.

If you are concerned about the policies in place in Pennsylvania regarding young workers, it is important that you conduct adequate research. If you have questions, an attorney can provide the information you need concerning the employment of minors.

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