Is my 16 year old entitled to a minimum wage during his summer job?

Is my 16 year old son entitled to a minimum wage during his summer job? US answers.

Question: May 2011

My 16 year old son just got offered a summer job in a summer camp. He would be working Monday thru Friday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm for 8 weeks. The camp says this is a salaried position of $800 for the entire summer. Is this legal?

Answer US

The US Department of Labor writes about the minimum wage for young workers and I quote:

'A minimum wage of $4.25 per hour applies to young workers under the age of 20 during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer, as long as their work does not displace other workers. After 90 consecutive days of employment or the employee reaches 20 years of age, whichever comes first, the employee must receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to workers with disabilitiesfull-time students, andstudent-learners employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates. These programs are not limited to the employment of young workers.'

Your 16 year old son would be working 35 hours a week in his new summer job for 8 weeks. So that comes down to 35 hours x 8 weeks = 280 hours x $4.25 = $1,190.-. This minimum wage is a salary your son can only receive if he is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) while doing his new summer job. He might not be covered. There are exemptions under the FLSA for seasonal and recreational establishments and that could make your son exempt for minimum wage provisions.

I advise you to contact your local office of the Wage and Hour division to find out whether your son is entitled to a youth minimum wage under the FLSA, and if so, what his minimum wage should be. 

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