Every year, particularly in the summer, numerous North Carolina teenagers go out and get jobs. It is a great way for them to spend their time and gain real-world knowledge, experience and responsibility. However, every year, many teens are hurt on the job, often due to a lack of training and poor safety measures implemented by their employers. To help prevent teens from suffering workplace injuries, the state has set restrictions for the types of employment it accepts based on their age. If they do suffer injuries on the job, they may qualify for workers’ compensation, and in some cases, their employers may face some significant consequences.
At what age can teenagers work in North Carolina?
Currently, teenagers as young as 14 years of age can obtain employment in North Carolina. There may be limits to the hours they can work, as well as the type of jobs they may do. Here is a summary of the state’s minimum age to work rules:
- For ages 14 to 15: Must obtain a Youth Employment Certificate, can only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., cannot work over 18 hours a week and there is a limit to employment options.
- For ages 16 to 17: Must have a Youth Employment Certificate, and potentially dangerous jobs are off-limits.
- For ages 18 to 20: Youth Employment Certificate not needed, more jobs options available and may work in establishments that sell alcohol — though they may not serve alcohol.
If a minor begins a job and suffers a workplace injury, he or she may file a workers’ compensation claim to cover his or her losses. If the job is on the list of banned employment for minors, the employer may face significant penalties for failing to abide by state laws. Those who would like assistance seeking workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury can turn to legal counsel for help filing their claims and filing any third-party claims that may be applicable in their cases.