Do minimum wage laws apply to minors working in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2021 | Wage And Hour Claims

When children reach their teen years, they often express an interest in getting a job. Most parents encourage this and want to help their kids succeed. One way to accomplish this is by introducing your teen to child state and federal employment laws.

The things they learn can ensure they receive a fair and legal wage for the work they do. As a bonus, this early education in wage and hour laws will help them when they become adults.

Can employers pay minors less than minimum wage?

Federal law allows employers to pay minors less than the adult minimum wage during the first 90 days of employment. Currently, the federal minimum wage for those under the age of 20 stands at $4.25 per hour. Once the 90 days end, Kentucky employers must pay teen workers the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Many teens and parents in the Louisville area believe that the 90 days means 90 days actually worked. The truth is this period covers 90 consecutive calendar days starting on the first day of employment. For example, even if minors only work 30 days out of the initial 90 days, their pay rate must increase when the 90 days are up.

If employers fail to raise the rate of pay when they’re required to or if they take advantage of employees who are minors in other ways, you may have grounds to file a wage and hour claim. Doing so shows your teens that it is okay to exercise their rights in any unlawful employment situation. Learning more about employment law can also help minors protect their rights.