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Young employees can't perform some tasks

November 12, 2010

Dealers often employ minors during the summer or other times. While workers 18 years and older generally may perform any job, federal and state laws restrict the ability of dealerships to employ minors in certain "hazardous" occupations or to do certain "hazardous" jobs. For example, federal law constrains the ability of minors to operate vehicles on public roadways.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently clarified its rules governing "child" labor:

• 14- and 15-year-olds may not be employed in occupations that involve operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing any power-driven machinery. But they may operate office equipment and vacuum cleaners.

• 14- and 15-year-olds generally may ride inside motor vehicles but not on beds, running boards or bumpers, and not in conjunction with the transportation of persons or property (e.g., delivering parts). They generally may not load or unload motor vehicles, except for light non-power-driven hand tools (e.g., rakes, clippers, shovels or brooms) or personal items (e.g., back packs, lunch boxes and coats).

• 14- and 15-year-olds may work in connection with cars and trucks if confined to: dispensing gasoline and oil; courtesy service; car cleaning, washing and polishing by hand; but not if the work involves pits, racks or lifting apparatus, or the inflation of any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable retaining ring. Despite NADA objections, cleaning, washing and polishing using any powered equipment is not permitted.