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Young (Hired) Guns

Teen workers: They're fast, strong and practically begging to get out of the house for a few hours.

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With today's tight labor market, you're not alone in considering hiring teens as employees. But before you post a "help wanted" sign at the local high school, make sure you understand everything you need to know about tapping into the rich resource of kids ages 14 to 17.

In other words, read up on the Fair Labor Standards Act. This policy establishes provisions specifically designed to protect the educational opportunities of kids, as well as prohibit their employment in jobs with conditions detrimental to their health and well-being. The minimum age for most work is 16; however, 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed outside of school hours in certain occupations under specific conditions.

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