It is estimated that 80 percent of all students will work sometime during high school, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
State and federal laws protect young people in the work place. Here are some highlights:
The national minimum age for employment is 14. There are some exceptions for younger kids in the fields of entertainment and agriculture as well as those who work for a business owned by a parent or legal guardian. It's also OK to work in domestic services, such as baby sitting, when you're younger than 14.
If you're 17 or younger, an employment certificate (work permit) is required in the state of Georgia. Certificates should be available at your school or through the superintendent's office. Work permits are not required for minors in South Carolina.
The federal government has deemed some occupations too hazardous for workers ages 14-15. They include: operating power-driven food slicers, grinders and choppers; mining and logging; and construction work.
Other child-labor laws, such as maximum hours a person can work, are outlined on the Georgia Department of Labor Web site at www.dol.state.ga.us./child-labor.htm or at the South Carolina site at www.llr.state.sc.us/labor/cll.htm.
Reach Margaret Weston at (706) 823-3340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.