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Teens in summer jobs must learn their workers’ rights

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2018 | Workplace Safety |

Every summer, many Colorado teens get their first tastes of what it is like to have a job. Teen workers typically want to impress their employers, and they would execute any order to the best of their ability. First-time employees who do not have comprehensive knowledge of their workers’ rights yet might compromise their own safety, and authorities report that the injury rate of workers under the age of 24 is almost double that of older workers.

Teen workers must know that they are entitled to receive adequate training for the jobs they have to do, and they are allowed to refuse tasks that seem unsafe. However, reluctance to speak up is natural, and it might be to their own detriment. Although they might not want parental interference at that age, it might help if parents underscore the importance of self-preservation.

Teens between the ages 14 and 15 can typically be appointed in jobs as cashiers and shelve packers in grocery and retail stores, and they can work in movie theaters or offices. Once they are 16 and 17 years old, they may be appointed to do limited tasks in manufacturing and landscaping, and 17-year old workers are allowed to drive — but only under specific circumstances. There are duties that workers under age 18 may not do, such as working at elevated levels exceeding 10 feet, working near heavy equipment and working unaccompanied at night.

The sooner teens become familiar with workers’ rights, the better. One of those is the right to recover medical expenses and lost wages through the workers’ compensation insurance program of Colorado if they should suffer workplace injuries. They might be glad to know that an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the complicated benefits claims process.


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