With competition for jobs increasing in our economy, you might think that employing young workers is more of a hassle than sticking with older, more experienced candidates. If you consider the sometimes complicated labor laws that affect employment for people under the age of 18, you may decide to forgo that population entirely. Hiring minors for your business has clear advantages that outweigh some of those concerns because you may be overlooking significant benefits to your business. Take a moment to examine how your company may thrive with fresh faces.
Lower Pay Equals Savings
More experienced workers tend to expect higher wages and benefits as conditions for their employment. With teenage employees who may have never had a job, you can pay on the lower end of the spectrum or keep pay at minimum wage for a starting point. Usually, minors work part-time, which means their expectations for compensation or other perks will also be low. You may be able to reduce your expenses by not having to provide a benefits package such as insurance or a retirement plan.
Some states may offer tax credits for your business if you hire minors or younger workers. If you own your small business, you can even hire your own teenage children as employees for federal tax advantages such as a reduction in FICA taxes, but keep in mind that the IRS may ask for verification of your children’s work status. Check with your state’s tax agency or your accountant for how tax credits are determined for minor workers or underage family members.
Young and Impressionable
Older or overqualified workers will most likely not be as satisfied to remain in an entry-level position, but teenagers are new to the workforce and may have different expectations. They also bring a different perspective to a job environment. They may have new ideas or ways of looking at tasks that can inspire you or fellow coworkers, so open your mind to the potential of a younger generation. They are also more adaptable and eager to learn new tasks, making them excellent trainees. You can instruct them on your procedures and inspire them to model your principles and work style. Relish your role as a mentor and remember the guidance you provide can frame their career paths down the road.
While you have many good reasons to hire minors for your business, you should be realistic about some of the challenges. If you need to fill openings without down time for training, you probably should not look for younger workers who will require more supervision. Another potential disadvantage is the effect of state and federal labor standards, depending on your industry. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is designed to protect the health and safety of children in the workforce. Some states may have additional limits or stricter demands, so be sure to familiarize yourself with any regulations that can impact your business.
Requirements on salary and work hours can vary depending on the ages of the minors. In addition, some types of duties or work environments may be deemed too hazardous for children of working age. If the position requires employees to operate heavy machinery or work with dangerous chemicals, you may need to hire an adult, even for unskilled or entry-level openings.
Even with the added guidelines to permit minor labor, the fact remains that this population is available and ready to work. As an employer, you may see the upsides to younger workers either for seasonal needs or year-round in an apprentice capacity. Following the federal and state laws by obtaining permits or verifying age may be a minor inconvenience compared to the potential and return this generation of employees can bring to your company.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.