If you are under 18 years old, specific rules apply to your employment, but generally, you have the same rights as other workers. Be familiar with the rules about pay, safety and health, and discrimination to create a positive work experience.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The Occupational Safety and Health Act establishes federal workplace safety rules and requires that employers provide a safe and healthful work environment and comply with occupational safety and health standards for all employees, regardless of their age. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration website contains information on potential hazards you may be exposed to on the job, accounts of actual accidents and tragedies involving your peers, and information about special OSHA safety campaigns for young workers. Learn more: www.osha.gov/youngworkers/
International Labor Affairs Bureau
The Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking conducts research, raises awareness, funds projects, and helps shape policies that protect young workers around the world. Learn more: www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/our-work/child-forced-labor-trafficking
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, and retaliation are prohibited under federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws. Visit EEOC’s Youth@Work website to learn about job discrimination affecting young workers, and what you can do to help prevent discrimination in the workplace. Learn more: www.eeoc.gov/youth
Most states have their own rules about employing young workers. In addition, some states have separate minimum wage requirements. When federal and state rules are different, the rules that provide the most protection apply. Find out about the rules in your state: www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state