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Feds Issue Teen Summer Work Rules

During the summer, 14- and 15-year-olds may work until 9 p.m., but only until Labor Day, according to federal rules. Other times, they must quit at 7 p.m.

Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao on Wednesday unveiled a new initiative aimed at informing teen-agers and others about summer employment. "YouthRules!" includes a Web site ( that tells workers, employers and parents about federal and state rules, including the hours teen-agers may work and the jobs they're permitted to do.

For example, 14- and 15-year-olds aren't permitted to build houses, bake bread, work in mines or operate heavy machinery. They may work in offices, grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, ball parks, amusement parks and gas stations.

Once they're 16, teen-agers may work more hazardous jobs, but many restrictions still apply. Also, many states have more restrictive rules on jobs and hours.

According to recent Labor Department statistics, 4 million teen-agers 15 to 17 work during the summer, with as many as 48 percent of 17-year-olds holding summer jobs.

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