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Early work experiences can be rewarding and will help you develop new skills. Federal labor laws require that your work experience be safe and, if you are under 18, age appropriate. Your job should not interfere with your education nor jeopardize your health or well-being.
If you are under 18, there are rules regarding your employment, but generally you have the same rights as other workers. Being familiar with the rules that have to do with pay, safety and health, and discrimination will help you have a positive work experience.
All states have rules regarding the employment of young workers. In addition, some states have separate minimum wage requirements. When federal and state rules are different, the rules that provide the most protection will apply. Be sure to find out about the rules in your state.
The Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs uses all available international channels to improve working conditions, raise living standards, protect workers’ ability to exercise their rights, and address the workplace exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations around the world.