State laws

Maine expands types of jobs available to 14- and 15-year-olds

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Augusta, ME – A new law in Maine makes more jobs open to workers as young as 14 and aligns the state’s provisions with federal safety regulations to protect those workers.

The law amends previous regulation to allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work in bowling alleys, movie theaters and permanent amusement parks. It also allows them to “clarify their employment in bakeries, hotels and rooming houses,” the Maine Department of Labor notes in a July 10 press release.

The new law states that 14- and 15-year-old hotel workers may perform housekeeping work, “but only in the presence or line of sight of an adult.” They are prohibited from performing room service or making deliveries to guest rooms.

In bakeries, 14- and 15-year-olds are allowed to work the counter, decorate baked goods, or perform customer service or office work as long as those work areas are not in the same room as baking operations.

“There is no better preparation for the responsibilities of adulthood than working when you are a teenager,” Gov. Paul LePage (R) said in the release.

Workers 15 and younger in the state are required to obtain a permit before starting any job. The new law allows graduates of vocational programs who are 17 or younger to work in occupations in which they are trained, gives the Maine Department of Labor – not just superintendents – the power to revoke a work permit, allows the department to issue rules concerning employment, and places restrictions on jobs related to legalized marijuana.

Federal OSHA maintains a webpage offering resources to teens, parents and employers about young workers’ rights to a safe workplace.

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