If you’re a parent of a teenager, how many times have you heard this question:
“Mom/Dad, can I have some money?”
But for younger teens, finding a job beyond dog-walking or babysitting can be a challenge. Many companies don’t start hiring teenagers until they hit 16 years old.
Companies often avoid hiring young 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 teenagers as young as 14 years old. Since the restaurant is closed on Sundays, workers will always have that day off.
Many teens get their first jobs at Mickey D’s. Most restaurants will hire teenagers who are at least 14 years old for food prep, cashier work and restaurant maintenance.
With movie theaters slowly re-opening following COVID-19 shutdowns, AMC Theaters are looking for employees, including 14- and 15-year-olds who will work as ushers and concession stand attendants.
Kroger Grocery Stores
The Kroger family of grocery stores, including Kroger, FredMeyer, 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.
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.