Watch CBS News

As Employers Seek Summer Workers, Bill Would Extend Hours Teens Could Work In New Jersey

BRICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - As the summer tourism season gets into full swing, businesses still need help.

Could the answer be extending the hours teenagers can work?

As CBS2's Meg Baker reports, help wanted signs for bartenders, dishwashers, waiters and line cooks have been up for months outside the Windward Tavern in Brick, where the current line cook does the job of three people.

"I have about two other guys behind the line. So yeah, it's quite a bit," line cook John Mayock said.

"It seems nobody wants to come off unemployment," said Windward Tavern owner Mort Nase.

A proposed bill in Trenton could help ease the problem, and let 16- and 17-year-olds work overtime this summer.

"This is definitely something that's needed, and it allows teenagers to work a little more, make a little bit more money if they choose to," said Laura Gunn, vice president of of government relations for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

That would require written permission from a parent.

Currently, the law limits teens to 40 hours of work a week. This new legislation would raise the limit to 50 hours a week through Labor Day.

Nase says he built an expensive outdoor area and doesn't have enough staff to even seat people there.

"Anything would help us out right now," Nase said.

The owner of Blend on Main in Manasquan says he is having the same hiring issues.

"This morning, I was cleaning bathrooms in the dining room prior to working breakfast," owner Louis Smith said.

He's not sure the impact this bill will have.

"Will that help you in any way?" Baker asked

"It's funny. Even tough to get teenagers to come out and work right now," Smith said. "You don't see the same hungry kids looking for employment, that summer job."

But he is hopeful with school coming to an end next week that kids will surprise him and want a summer job down the shore - what could be better?

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Rooney on the appropriations committee abstained from voting on this and questioned kids working until 11 p.m. during the school season.

The vote is scheduled in the full Assembly Monday.

Meg Baker contributed to this report. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.