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Tracy Kosbau
Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations

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Teen Server photoTeen Labor ?s
Info on hiring teens this summer

Here are the most basic facts about hiring teens...

14- and 15- year olds:

  • June 1 through Labor Day, they may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • May not work more than 6 days per week.
  • May work up to 3 hours on school days and 8 hours on non-school days.
  • May work up to 18 hours during school weeks and 40 hours during non-school weeks.
  • Must receive a 30-minute meal break if working more than 6 consecutive hours – break may be unpaid.
  • Labor Day through May 31, they may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

16- and 17- year olds:

  • State and federal laws do not limit the hours that minor 16 years of age or over may work, except that they may not be employed during hours of required school attendance. (So, once school is out they may work as they want - or you need.)
  • Employed after 11:00 p.m. must have 8 hours of rest between the end of one shift and the start of the next shift.
  • May work an unlimited number of hours in a day and in a week, but must be paid overtime for any hours over 10 in a day, even if they work less than 40 in the week.
  • Must receive a 30-minute meal break if working more than 6 consecutive hours – break may be unpaid.

Remember, the minimum wage for minors is $7.25 per hour – there is no teen minimum wage. However, you can pay the opportunity wage of $5.90 per hour for the first 90 days of employment. On the 91st day, the wage must increase to $7.25 per hour.

There are lots of other issues that typically come up at this time of year involving teens. Can teen employees use lawn mowers and golf carts? Can you have rules banning shorts, tank tops and sandals? Does a teen who worked for you last summer need a new work permit? Please feel free to call the Hotline Team at 800-589-3211 or email hotline@wirestaurant.org to get these types of questions answered.

Need more information or guidance?
Click here for more details about work permits (including link to list of permit offices around Wisconsin)
Click here for WRA's overview of teen labor laws and regulations from the HERO maunal
Click here to access the Wisconsin DWD teen labor workplace poster
Click here for OSHA's Youth Worker Safety in Restaurants e-tool
Did you know that free teen workplace safety binders are available from WRA? Email kreiser@wirestaurant.org to request one.


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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960