What Protections Do Youth Workers Have?

June 28, 2017 – As summer vacation fast approaches, many youth in Massachusetts with turn to summer employment.  By informing your children, nieces, nephews and any young people of their rights, they will be better equipped to recognize issues that might be illegal or dangerous.  Here are some legal facts you can send them.

  • You must be paid at least the minimum wage of $11/hour.
  • If you work more than 40 hours a week, you must be paid an overtime pay that is at least 1.5 times your regular pay for each hour
  • If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must obtain a work permit before starting a new job – here is a step-by-step process for how to get a permit.
  • Depending on how old you are, there may be certain hours and jobs you cannot work (check this website for more info)
  • Most employees who work more than 6 hours must get a 30-minute meal break. During their meal break, employees must be free of all duties and free to leave the workplace. If, at the request of the employer, an employee agrees to work or stay at the workplace during the meal break, s/he must get paid for that time.
  • If you get hurt or become sick because of your job, you may file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits and/or medical treatment.
  • This applies regardless of your age, number of hours you work per week, whether or not your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, and even if you are a citizen of another country
  • If you are a server and collect tips, the service wage is $3.75 per hour. The average hourly tips, plus the hourly service rate paid to you must add up to $11.00 (or more). If you feel that you aren’t making a lot in tips, double check the math to make sure you are making at least $11/hour.
  • You have the legal right to refuse to do any task that you feel threatens your immediate safety.

If a legal issue arises and you would like to speak with a lawyer, please contact the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625 or submit an online request form here today!