June is Youth Employment Month in Michigan. Give young adults the opportunity to gain work experience and skills for future careers.

As the weather warms and schools break for the summer, many young adults will begin job-hunting and entering the workforce. Hiring young workers will, in turn, help fuel the economy and add well-trained and experienced future workers to the job force.

To make sure you’re up to speed on the Youth Employment Standards Act (YESA), including permissions, regulations, and protections while hiring minors, focus on the following best-practices:

Work Permits
All young adults under the age of 18 must complete a work permit, or obtain a written agreement/contract between employer and school district, academy, or private institution, before they begin their first day of work.

Employers must keep work permits on file for each minor employed. It’s important to note that an employee’s work permit may be revoked if the student has low academic performance.

Supervision, Safety, and Training
Minors must be under the supervision of an employee or employer who is at least 18 years of age. A supervisor must be ready and available immediately in an emergency situation.

To prevent costly workers’ compensation claims and/or serious injury to the employee, adequately training young adults from day one is vital. Drafting a guide that can be easily referenced will help minors better understand tasks and procedures. If able, perform weekly or monthly check-ins. Ensure that all questions your new hire may have, are answered.

Hours of Work
Youth employees are limited to working:

  • 6 days in 1 week. 
  • A weekly average of 8 hours per day.
  • No more than 10 hours in one day. 

In addition, minors under 16 years of age may work:

  • 48 hours in 1 week, school and work combined.
  • Between 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and not during school hours.

Minors 16-17 years of age may work: 

  • 48 hours in 1 week when school is not in session or 24 hours in 1 week when school is in session. 
  • Between 6:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m., not during school hours.
  • Until 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and when not regularly attending school, e.g., summer vacation.

Break periods
Youth employees may not work more than 5 hours continuously without a documented 30-minute uninterrupted meal or rest period.