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Governor Granholm Declares June Youth Employment Month in Michigan DELEG Offers Tips for Finding Employment and Staying Safe on the JobContact: Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
June 3, 2009 - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has proclaimed June as Youth Employment Month in Michigan to help teens identify employment opportunities and to help employers provide legal and safe working environments for Michigan's working teens.
This summer about 304,400 teenagers, ages 16-19, are expected to seek jobs in Michigan - a slight decrease over last year's job market.
"By providing valuable and safe summer work experiences today, employers are empowering Michigan's teens with the skills they will need to find good jobs in the future," said Granholm.
In recognition of Youth Employment Month, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) offers important tips to help teens find employment and to protect them while on the job.
"The safety and well-being of the state's youngest workers must be a top priority for Michigan employers," DELEG Director Stanley "Skip" Pruss stated. "Consequently, it is important for employers to be educated about the state's youth employment laws, such as those in the Youth Employment Standards Act and especially during the summer months as more teens join the workforce to fill jobs created by increased activity in the state's tourism and recreational industries."
Michigan's minimum wage law increased to $7.40 in July 2008. There is also a state sub-minimum wage for those under 18 years of age. The sub-minimum wage allows employers to pay these young workers at a rate of 85 percent of the state adult minimum wage or a wage equal to the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. The current sub-minimum rate is $6.55 an hour, based on the federal minimum wage, and will increase to $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009, when the federal minimum wage increases.
Protecting Working Youth
DELEG's Wage & Hour Division is launching a month-long campaign to educate employers about the state's youth employment laws and is working with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division, as part of a national effort, to visit employers, pass out materials and discuss legal aspects of employing minors. The campaign will include visits to retail and fast food establishments, which employ the majority of teenagers, and to school districts, which issue work permits.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that approximately 70 teens die every year in the U.S. from work-related injuries. The most recent data shows nearly 2,000 Michigan teens were seriously injured on the job in a two-year period (2006-2007).
As a result, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), also within DELEG, is continuing its multi-year "Young Worker Initiative," which provides basic workplace safety and health information to Michigan teens before they begin work or early in their working careers.
MIOSHA has developed the brochure "Extreme Safety: Important Facts for Working Teens" that explains their workplace rights and responsibilities, and fact sheets for young workers in the construction, food service, retail and lawn care industries. MIOSHA youth material can be found at: http://www.michigan.gov/miosha; in the "MIOSHA Initiatives" section, click on "Young Worker Initiative."
Minors need work permits
Minors are required to have a work permit, which they can obtain at any Michigan school district, intermediate school district, public school academy or non-public school. Generally, teens must be at least 14 years old for most jobs; however, children as young as 11 can work as golf caddies or sports referees. Children, 13 years of age or older, can work on farms.
Minors, ages 14 and 15, can work between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. while 16- and 17-year-olds can be employed between 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. on Friday or Saturday or when not regularly attending school) for up to 48 hours per week of school and work combined.
Those with questions about the Youth Employment Standards Act can contact the Wage and Hour Division at (517) 335-0400 or visit www.michigan.gov/wagehour and click on "Youth Employment." A work permit fact sheet is available online at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Work_Permit_FACT_SHEET_July_2006_169123_7.pdf
Summer jobs for low income youth
DELEG Director Pruss noted that low income youth between the ages of 14 and 24 may qualify for summer jobs this year as the state has received about $74 million from the federal government for summer employment programs. About 80 percent of the money will be used this summer. The jobs will be with governmental and non-profit organizations as well as with some private employers.
"Young people interested in applying for these summer jobs or for more information should contact their local Michigan Works Agency," Pruss said.
MWA locations can be found at michiganworks.org/ or by calling 1-800-285-WORKS (9675).
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