“Can I have some money?”
If you’re a parent of a teenager, how many times have you heard that question? Those of us who are tired of feeling like an ATM with all the money-withdrawal requests may find ourselves replying with this equally succinct line: “Get a job.”
But for younger teens, finding a job beyond dog-walking or babysitting can be a challenge. Many companies don’t start hiring until someone hit 16 years old.
Companies often avoid hiring younger teenagers because of the complexities of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The federal law is meant to protect minors from working too many hours, but the restrictions are numerous and can be a challenge for employers to navigate.
- All work hours must be done outside of normal school hours.
- No working more than 3 hours on any school day, including Fridays.
- No working more than 18 hours per week during the school year.
- No working more than 40 hours per week when school is not in session.
- No work is allowed before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. any day, except from June 1 through Labor Day. Then, the cutoff time for a workday is extended to 9 p.m.
In addition to the federal rules, certain states require minors to obtain a work permit (or an “employment certificate”) if they want to get a job. To find out about your state’s requirements, head to your state’s labor department website.
So, what if your 14- or 15-year-old has gone through all of the red tape to be a qualified employee and is ready to get to work? Fortunately, there are a number of well-known companies that are willing to comply with the legalities of bringing the younger generation on board.
Here are just a few large companies that may hire 14- and 15-year-old workers, but keep in mind that hiring policies vary by location, so you’ll want to check with management at the locations nearest you to get details.
With more than 2,000 locations across the country, many Chick-fil-A restaurants will hire kids as young as 14 years old. Since the restaurant is closed on Sundays, workers will always have that day off.
Many people get their first job at Mickey D’s. Most of the chain’s restaurants will hire teenagers who are at least 14 years old for food prep, cashier work and restaurant maintenance.
As movie theaters have gotten back to normal operations, AMC Theaters, the biggest theater chain in America, is looking for employees. The company will hire 14- and 15-year-olds to work as ushers and concession-stand attendants.
The Kroger family of grocery stores, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Baker’s, City Market and others, often hire 14- and 15-year-olds (with the appropriate permits or papers) as baggers, shelf-stockers and workers to prep pickup orders. Chances are, you’ve got one of these stores in your area.
Like some other fast-food chains, Taco Bell locations will sometimes hire people as young as 14 for non-hazardous tasks such as working the counter or drive-thru. The company requires applicants that young to have the proper permits.
For more ideas on where your teen can find a job, you can check out this comprehensive list from Hip2Save to get them started on their employment search.