Guidance for Your Teen Worker By Melissa Esham 4/25/2016 Some of our teens are getting that first job. Admittedly, in our region the tourist industry is allowing even our young teens to have a summer job. I myself sold ice cream at a hotel, and sold pizza slices on the Boardwalk. Teens can be (are) moody and often very secretive about their jobs - try to keep involved by asking questions. This will allow them to come to you if something goes wrong. Child labor laws for the Federal and State governments can be found by calling 866-4USADOL for more information or visit www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/. Do you have a teen that is looking in to a construction job. They can be very rewarding and educational. It is even more important for parents to stay involved. A few helpful tips: Recognize that teens (and all workers) are entitled to a safe and healthy working environment under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act). Do not assume that your teen is aware of his or her rights or that the employer is educating their employees of these rights. Certain jobs are restricted for teens working in construction. Visit www.osha.gov for more detailed information. Take an active role in the employment decisions of your child. Know where he or she is working and what duties are being performed. Frequently talk with your child about what he or she did at work and address any problems or concerns. Talk with your teen about the training and supervision that takes place in the workplace. Encourage your child to participate and to take this seriously. Watch for signs that the job is taking too much of a toll on your teen. If there is a loss of interest in or energy for other activities, the job may be too demanding. Other signs of concern may include increased stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, depression and use of alcohol or other drugs. Talk to your teen about the importance of balancing school and work responsibilities. Support your teen in reporting hazards to management, to OSHA or to your state’s Department of Labor when work environments appear to be unsafe. Ask your child about the equipment that is used on the job and the dangers associated with operating that equipment. Thanks for reading. What was your first job?