In order to help ensure the safety and well being of working minors, the United States federal government has created a number of regulations regarding the employment of minors. For instance, individuals who are under the age of 16 are only permitted to work certain hours. In addition, the federal government has established an acceptable minimum wage for minors.
Minors are generally not eligible to receive minimum wage rates. Though they can be provided with minimum wage if an employer wishes to pay them the established minimum wage rate, employers are not required to provide minors with minimum wage compensation.
Minors, specifically those who are 16 years of age or younger, generally do not possess extensive financial responsibilities. They are legally prohibited from performing many tasks and responsibilities, specifically those that are deemed to be hazardous
In addition, minors usually carry out basic duties and they are only permitted to work restricted hours. These factors, coupled with their general lack of experience, justifies a reduced minimum wage rate.
The federal government has established a youth minimum wage for workers who are under 20 years of age. The current minimum wage for 16 year olds is $4.25 for every hour that they work. Each state can choose to establish its own youth minimum wage, as long as it complies with the federal regulations.
Therefore, a state can choose to create a youth minimum wage that exceeds $4.25 per hour, but can not pay a minor less that the national youth minimum wage. It is important for a minor to review the minimum wage for 16 year olds prior to acquiring employment, so that he/she is aware of his/her rights.