Four million teens age 15-17 work during the summer, with as many as 48 percent of 17-year-olds holding down summer jobs, according to the Department of Labor.
YouthRules! is the name of the new initiative, and includes a Web site that informs young workers, their parents and employers about federal and state rules, including the hours teens may work and the jobs they are permitted to do. Check it out at www.youthrules.dol.gov/
For instance, during the summer, 14- and 15-year-olds may work until 9 p.m., but only until Labor Day, according to federal rules. Other times they must quit at 7 p.m.
And 14- and 15-year-olds are not allowed to build houses, bake bread, work in mines or operate heavy machinery. They can be employed in offices, grocery stores, restaurants, movie houses, ballparks, amusement parks and gas stations.
More dangerous jobs are permitted once teens reach the age of 16, but many restrictions still apply. Keep in mind that your state might have more restrictive rules on jobs and hours.