Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Follow the regs when employing minors ages 14 to 17

June 16, 2017
As high school students embark on summer jobs, dealers should be aware of the child labor laws that set forth a number of provisions which apply to 14- through 17-year-olds.
Employees ages 14 and 15 may perform nonhazardous jobs, and work no more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. Work cannot begin before 7 a.m. or end after 9 p.m. 
Under Illinois law, 16- and 17-year-olds can perform any nonhazardous job for eight hours a day and 44 hours a week at a maximum six-day workweek.
Nonhazardous duties include:
• office and clerical work;
• selling/cashier;
• errand and delivery work by foot, bicycle or public transportation;
• clean-up work and grounds maintenance (Federal law prohibits employees 15 or younger from operating power-driven mowers or cutters.); 
• car cleaning, washing and polishing, not including work involving the inflation of any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable ring; and
• use of vehicle lifts and grease racks by employees 16 and older. The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that the use of vehicle lifts does not amount to a hazardous occupation.
Nonhazardous duty requirements apply to any minor employee, including a son or daughter of the dealer. Every minor employee must receive at least minimum wage per hour — $8.25 in Illinois ($10.50 in Chicago, $11 effective July 1), $7.25 in Indiana — for all hours worked. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are subject to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40.
Teen Driving Rules
The U.S. Labor Department has provided rules to clarify the Drive for Teen Employment Act of 1998, to advise what constitutes prohibited "urgent time-sensitive deliveries." The rules also clarify that, while employers have to prove compliance with the act, no specific records must be created or maintained. 
Under the act, licensed 17-year-olds are permitted to engage in limited driving on public roads. Licensed 16-year-olds may drive only on private property, such as dealership lots; 16-year-olds may not drive on public roadways in the course of employment. On-the-job driving by employees 18 and older is not regulated.
Seventeen-year-olds may drive on public roads while on the job, if they:
• hold a valid state driver’s license;
• have completed a state-approved driver education course;
• are instructed that seat belts must be used; and
• do not have a record of moving violations at the time of hire.
The motor vehicle driven must not exceed 6,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight; be equipped with a seat belt; and not be used for the towing of vehicles.
Driving is permitted if it is restricted to daylight hours; within a 30-mile radius of the place of employment; and occasional and incidental (no more than one-third of an employee’s work time on a daily basis and no more than 20 percent of an employee’s work time per week).
Urgent, time-sensitive deliveries are prohibited for drivers under the age of 18. Because they may be subject to timelines, schedules, and/or turnaround times, drivers might attempt to hurry to complete the delivery. 
Prohibited trips include the delivery of materials under a deadline (e.g., deposits to a bank at closing) and the shuttling of passengers to and from transportation depots to meet transport schedules.
Delivery, Passenger Transport
The law allows 17-year-olds limited daily trips for delivery and passenger transport:
• up to two trips may be made to deliver an employer’s goods to a customer. The delivery of a vehicle is not subject to this limitation;
• transporting of persons is limited to three passengers (including other employees);
• transporting non-employee passengers is limited to two trips a day; and
• in addition to urgent, time-sensitive deliveries, other types of deliveries that are prohibited include route deliveries or sales; or for hire transportation of property, goods or passengers. 
Background Checks
At the time of application, prospective drivers/ employees should sign a waiver authorizing background checks for driving record and driver’s education verification. 
Prospective drivers/employees should be told at the time they are making application for employment that, if hired, they will be required to provide a written, signed statement that they meet the criteria of the requirements listed earlier, such as a valid driver’s license. Since the law requires that teenage drivers be instructed to wear safety belts, the statement should also include a certification from teenage employees that they have been so instructed.
Working Papers for Minors
Working papers must be obtained from public school officials in the district in which the minor resides before a minor may work in a dealership. The minor’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian must apply for these permits and certificates.
If the minor is terminated, the employment certificate must be returned to the issuing official. If the minor uses a work permit, the employer must notify the school district within five days of the termination. 


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