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girl hoes gardenSo your teen is looking to make some money.

Parents need to help protect their teens, who may not realize that teens and all workers are entitled to a safe and healthful work environment. Don’t assume your teenagers are aware of their rights or that employers are aware of child labor laws for teenagers.

Take an active role in the employment decisions of your children. Some worksites are safer than others. Know where your teens are working and what they are doing. Frequently ask teens what they did at work and discuss any problems or concerns.

Discuss with your teen the types of work they are involved with and the training  and supervision provided by the employer.

Watch for signs the job is taking too much of a physical or mental toll on your teen. How is your child’s performance at school? If there is loss of interest in or energy for school, the job may be too much for your child to handle. Other signs of concern could include increased stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and use of alcohol or other drugs.

Support your teen in reporting hazards or unsafe work environments to managers.

Talk with your teen about their financial goals. Do they include putting money away for their first car, saving for college, or enjoying their financial independence.

Know the state laws regarding child labor laws. Find more information at www.maine.gov/labor/. For example, is your teen being asked to work longer hours than allowed, or in unsafe conditions?

Be aware that anyone under the age of 16 is banned from the following jobs or work-related activities:

  • Baking or cooking
  • Operating power-driven machines such as lawnmowers and electric hedge clippers. (Low-risk machines like photocopiers and computers are alright.)
  • Climbing ladders or scaffolding
  • Working in warehouses
  • Manufacturing, building, or working in construction
  • Loading or unloading trucks, railroad cars, or conveyors


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