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News Release

US Department of Labor reaches out to Michigan
schools to keep teens safe at after-school jobs

DETROIT — High schools and junior high schools in Michigan will receive valuable information this week from the U.S. Department of Labor about state and federal work rules designed to keep teens safe at work and productive at school.

"Our children represent the future," said James Smith, director of the department's Wage and Hour Division Detroit District Office. "Our goal is to foster safer workplaces and prevent injuries by ensuring that school officials, students and employers are aware of the laws that protect young workers. Working children must only be employed in safe jobs and for limited hours."

The Wage and Hour Division in Detroit has mailed YouthRules! information to 1,300 high and junior high schools for use by school principals and staff who issue work permits. Work permits are generally required by state law before a young worker can be employed in Michigan.

Federal provisions restrict the number of hours individuals under 16 years of age are allowed to work and the times during which they can be employed. Minors may not work more than three hours on school days, eight hours on nonschool days, 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours during nonschool weeks. The regulations detail that 14- and 15-year-olds may work during nonschool hours but no later than 7 p.m., or 9 p.m. from June 1 until Labor Day.

"The intent of the limitations on work hours is to give our teens their best shot at preparing for their futures. They accomplish that by first doing well in school and then balancing school with safe and appropriate work experiences," Smith added.

YouthRules! is a public awareness campaign designed to bring teens, parents, educators and employers together to promote safe and rewarding work experiences for young workers. The campaign involves partnerships with state and federal government agencies, employer groups, trade associations and advocacy groups.

For more information on youth employment laws, visit the Labor Department's YouthRules! website at or call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

Wage and Hour Division
November 15, 2010
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number