Many employers look to youth to fill their employment needs during the summer. It can be a cost savings and provide valuable and much needed help to employers, while providing valuable experience and income for the young employee.  However, youth employment can create traps with costly penalties for the unwitting employer.  This blog post will, hopefully, help you identify and avoid these traps.

1.  Is there specific paperwork that must be completed when hiring youths? Yes, a Youth Employment Certificate must be completed.

2.  Are there limits to hours worked and types of employment for youths? Yes, the hours worked and types of employment vary depending on whether the youth is under 13, 14-15, or 16-17.

3.  Is there a penalty for violation of youth employment? Yes, not to exceed $500 for first violation, and not to exceed $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

4.  Do employers need to pay minimum wage for youth employment? Yes, while FLSA has an exemption for Youth Minimum Wage, the North Carolina Department of Labor has refused to implement this exemption.

5.  Are seasonal amusement and recreational establishments exempt from paying minimum wage? No.

6.  Are there exemptions for payment of minimum wage to youths (and other employees) engaging in certain employment activities? Yes, for the following:

  • Persons employed in agriculture, as defined by FLSA;
  • Persons employed as domestic, including babysitters and companions, as defined by FLSA;
  • Persons employed as a page in the N.C. General Assembly or the Governor’s Office;
  • Bona fide volunteers in medical, educational, religious or nonprofit organizations, where the employer-employee relationship does not exist;
  • Persons employed as a model, or as an actor or performer in motion pictures or theatrical, radio or televisions productions, as defined by FLSA;
  • Persons employed by outdoor drama in production role (not including office workers, ticket takers, ushers and parking attendants);
  • Persons employed by a boys’ or girls’ summer camp or of a seasonal religious or nonprofit educational center;
  • Persons employed in the catching, processing or first sale of seafood, as defined by FLSA;
  • The child of the employer or any person qualifying as dependent of employer under income tax laws of N.C;

7.  What is the minimum wage? The minimum wage is $7.25. However, full-time students, learners, apprentices and messengers, as defined by FLSA, may be paid 90% of $7.25, rounded to the lowest nickel.

8.  Do tips count toward the minimum wage? Yes, if proper procedures are followed.

9.  Do I have to pay for overtime? Yes, for hours in excess of 40 per week, unless employed by a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment, in which case overtime is paid for hours worked in excess of 45 per week.

10.  What is a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment? An establishment that does not operate for more than 7 months in any calendar year, or during the preceding calendar year had average receipts for any 6 months of such year of not more than 33 1/3% of its average receipts for the other six months.

If you still have questions, call us at 336-232-0650.