Working Teens

March 1, 2012
By Maddy Kilburn SILVER, Franklin, Massachusetts
Maddy Kilburn SILVER, Franklin, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Teenagers are notorious for being lazy, irresponsible, and uncooperative. Just because of these harsh stereotypes and youthful age doesn’t mean that younger teens, like freshmen for example, should not be permitted to get something as simple as a summer job. Even though there is an economic crisis, summer is fast approach with ice cream shops and kids day camps looking to hire older teens. When looking at the big picture, these restraining laws and rules might even seem understandable, but truly are just down right unfair. Younger teenagers have the same ability and initiative to get these under demanding jobs as the ones who are currently receiving them.
Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts have sets of laws for the employment of younger teenagers. For example, in Massachusetts anyone under the age of sixteen cannot work in a barbershop, work in freezers, or work in a lumber yard. Those are just a few over twenty-five restrictions for working teens. Some of limitations are fathomable such as not being allowed to store explosives or use a firearm. But some are just senseless like not being able to cook or operate microwaves ovens over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island fourteen and fifteen year olds can only work for eighteen hours a week when school is in session and forty hours when school is out. These laws, though some fair, really make it difficult for a young teen to find a job in the summer.

Many employers are reluctant to hire fourteen and fifteen year olds, making getting a job in the summer very difficult. So many managers do not want to hire younger teenagers because of all the things the law prohibits them from doing and their limited work hours. The people that are hired usually have worked there in the past and also have seniority over the other applicants for the job. Also because of the economic crisis jobs for, even adults and older teens, are hard to find making finding a job for young high school student nearly impossible. Companies have many reasons to not hire young teenagers right now, but that does not mean that they should.
Although it may seem very challenging for a youthful teenager to get hired, there are so many benefits to working that will not stop them from trying to work. Getting a job early can help someone to learn about being financially responsible. From the money they receive, a worker can learn how to save money for later investments. An employee also learns about a work environment which can really help when getting a full time job in the future. Getting a job always looks good on a college application too because balancing goods grades and extracurricular activities is very important to universities. Working can help a teenager mature and even learn important values and skills such as responsibility, discipline, and time management. Getting a job has so many advantages that not getting one at a younger age seems almost absurd.
Nowadays for a young teenager to get a job is like rocket science. It is very difficult but is such a great learning experience that it cannot be passed up. This summer it will be hard for many youthful teens to get employed because of the law, poor economy, and their young, inexperienced age. Younger teenagers have the same ability and initiative to get these under demanding jobs as the ones who are currently receiving them.

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