Hiring Teenagers And The Undocumented: Why You Have To Be So Careful

There are two cross-sections of the population that you have to be particularly careful about hiring. These two groups have very special laws attached to them in regards to employment. If you do not pay attention to these laws, you could be heavily fined or sued. Here is why you have to be so careful when hiring a teenager or a migrant worker who is undocumented. 

Age Limitations on Teens

Different businesses have different policies on age restrictions when it comes to hiring teenagers. While state and local laws might say one thing, franchises and highly recognized corporations might have other restrictions. Most states allow for franchise and corporation rules, but they will still place limits on how young the working teens can be. For instance, a highly-recognized fast food chain hires fourteen-year-olds to work at the registers and drive-through windows, as well as clean the bathrooms and the restaurants. However, this age group is not allowed near any cooking surface because of the dangers. While fourteen is an acceptable age to hire for danger-free restaurant work, the franchise cannot hire anyone younger because of state and federal laws regarding child labor. 

Underage Kids Who Get Hurt Working Jobs or Stations They Should Not Can Sue

For example, kids under the age of eighteen are not allowed to operate cardboard balers or trash compactors. Kids under sixteen cannot operate meat slicers in a deli or fryers in a restaurant kitchen. Kids who are told that they have to clean, operate, or work near the machinery when they are not old enough and then end up hurt can sue their supervisors or employers. It is a criminal act of negligence and may also be considered "child endangerment" in some states. It should be noted that the parents of these kids are typically the ones pursuing the lawsuits, but the kids are the ones named as plaintiffs. 

Undocumented Workers May Try to Sue for Discrimination

It sounds unlikely since they would be placing themselves in a precarious position, but undocumented workers have sued for personal injuries, and they may not be above suing for discrimination. If you refuse to hire an undocumented worker, be sure you either have a suitable reason why or an adequate candidate that is better suited for the job. Then a case for discrimination will not hold water because you hired a better job applicant who has more experience and knows his/her way around the position available. 

For more information on hiring teenagers or undocumented immigrants, contact an employment lawyer.