What Hawaii Employers Need to Know about Hiring Teenagers for the Holiday Season

December 13, 2018 Written by Oralie Chapman

Many retailers will be looking to hire teenagers to ramp up their workforce during the holiday season. Hawaii employers should be aware of the strict child labor laws that govern employment for most teenagers between the ages of 14-17. Exceptions are made for minors under the age of 14 who are employed in theatrical work, agricultural work or in a family business.

Hawaii child labor laws


Child labor in Hawaii is regulated by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Hawaii Child Labor Law. The purpose of these laws is to ensure the health and well-being of teenagers without hampering their educational opportunities.


What to do before hiring a teenage employee


Whether you are hiring a teenage employee for a short or long-term position it is important to ensure that you are in compliance with all relevant child labor laws.


Check that a teenager is legally allowed to do the duties required of the job position


Before trying to hire a teenager for a job, you should know whether the duties can legally be performed by a teenager. For example, child labor laws prevent any person under the age of 18 from legally working in “hazardous occupations” which may include driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy-machinery. See the list of jobs labeled as hazardous by the FLSA and Hawaii Law.


Ask for the teen’s child labor certificate or work permit


Hawaii Child Labor Law dictates that teenage workers under the age of 18 must obtain a child labor certificate or work permit.

· Fourteen and 15-year-old workers must have a Certificate of Employment. It is the responsibility of the potential employer to fill out and sign the application form on behalf of the employee.

· Sixteen and 17-year-old employees must present a Certificate of Age plus an approved proof of age document when they are hired. Proof of age documents include a military ID, Hawaii driver’s license and birth certificate. Note that a SSN card is not an acceptable form of proof. Employers are responsible to verify the name and birth date on the Certificate of Age using the proof of age document, record the Certificate of Age number and return both documents back to the teenager who can use the certificate until they turn 18 years of age.


Keep track of the hours and time of day the teenager works


There are Federal and state laws that limit the number of hours and the time of day a teenager under the age of 16 can work. In order to avoid breaking the law, employers must track the number of hours and the time of day 14-15-year-old teenagers are scheduled to work. Informing scheduling managers of these restrictions is a must. See restrictions here.


Partnering with Makai HR


Not excited about dealing with child labor laws? That’s okay; we’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we gather relevant documents and answer any compliance questions that you have. We take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions.


With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.


What are you waiting for? Companies who partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!