How much should a minor work?

I work 40 hours a week as a 16 year old. They have me working 2 weeks in a row without a day off, which doesn’t seem right. When school begins, I’ll be doing a half day at college. They said my hours will be 3-10 in college, I get out of school at 2:15. I like getting extra money, but I’m thinking about quitting because I work too much. Should I quit/ am I working too much?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    In most states, it's illegal for an employer to assign someone under 18 more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. You need to check the laws in your state. Organizations have been caught assigning too many hours to minors, and have been fined, but you may have to choose between quitting or working the hours you're assigned. 

  • 1 month ago

    If you're 16 or 17 you can work unlimited hours; you just aren't allowed to work in certain (dangerous) occupations.

    In the U.S., if you work more than 40 hours a week, you need to be paid overtime (1.5 times your normal hourly wage for every hour over 40 in a week). Your employer may define a week however they want. 12:00 AM Sunday to 11:59 Saturday is typical, but if they want the week to be 12:00 PM Friday to 11:59 AM Friday or something, they're free to do so. 

    However, they can't average your work over more than one week to pretend you didn't work more than 40 hours per week. So if you work 50 hours one week and 30 the next, they still have to pay you overtime for the ten hours in the first week; they can't say you worked an average of 40 hours per week and deny overtime. 

    U.S. employers are not required to give days off. 

    If this will be your first semester in college, I recommend that you not work. Unlike in high school, in college most of the work is done outside of the lecture; you are responsible for (and may be tested on) all of the required reading, whether the professor covers it in lecture or not. Expect to spend two or three hours outside of class, for every hour sent in class, reading assignments, doing homework, and researching and writing papers.

    While the talk in high school about stuff going on your "permanent record" is just so much BS, it's actually true with respect to any college transcript, even if you are still in high school when you take the classes. From this point on, every time you apply to any college or university program, you'll be asked for all transcripts from every post-secondary institution you attended. 

    So you really don't want to screw up your grades by overloading your schedule. 

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