Did you know that there are unique standards that employers must follow when they hire people who are not 18 or older? In fact, there are rules that apply that limit how long a teen under 18 can work.
According to California’s labor laws, any minor employee who is 16 or 17 and not required to attend school cannot be employed over eight hours during a normal 40-hour workweek. There is an exception, which is that the teen may work over eight hours in a day if they are paid at least 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours over eight in a single workday as well as any time over 40 hours during a single week.
Double pay may also be required in some cases, such as if the teen stays to work for longer than 12 hours in a single day. All hours that they spend in excess of eight hours on the seventh day of a workweek also must be paid at double their normal rate.
Can an employer force you to work overtime if you’re a teenager?
The simple answer is, “probably.” Employers are allowed to dictate your work hours, but there is an exception. If an employer schedules someone on the seventh day of a workweek for overtime and has not given a day of rest, then the employee has a right to refuse to work. If they do not work, the employer is also not allowed to penalize them.
Otherwise, if an employee refuses to work overtime, an employer is generally allowed to discipline them for refusing their hours. This could include terminating them from their position in some cases.
Mandatory overtime is something that many people don’t want to have to deal with, but it is allowed in some cases. It’s more important to understand the value of those additional hours and when you, as an employee, are allowed to refuse to work any further without risk of punishment. If you believe that you’ve been mistreated, then it may be appropriate to reach out and learn more about your legal rights and to take some time to discuss your concerns.