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Rights of youthful workers under wage and hour laws

Teenagers and minors in Texas are protected under federal and state wage and hour laws. These laws establish a minimum wage for youth and establish standards for their working conditions in order to protect their health and safety. These laws are meant to also protect the educational opportunities that are available to young people.

Under the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act, employers are allowed to pay workers who are under the age of 20 a youth minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of their employment. If they turn 20 before the 90 days are up, they must be immediately raised to the adult minimum wage. 

The FLSA also limits younger workers to certain types of jobs and maximum weekly hours. Workers who are younger than 14 are limited to delivering papers, babysitting, making evergreen wreaths or working in their parents' business if the business is not one of the hazardous occupations.

Those who are 14 and 15 are limited to working only outside of school hours for no more than three hours on a school day and no more than eight hours on a non-school day. During the school year, they may not work more than 18 hours in a week. When school is not in session, they may not work more than 40 hours in a work week.

Workers who are 16 and 17 are not limited in the number of hours that they work, but they cannot work in hazardous jobs.

Youthful workers who believe that their employers have violated their employee rights might benefit by talking to employment law attorneys. Lawyers may assess what happened and offer guidance about whether or not a valid basis for a claim exists. If it does, the attorneys may then work to recover damages for their clients.

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