Q: This summer, my District would like to hire students to perform grounds work. Are there any restrictions to employing students in this capacity?
A: Yes, there are restrictions depending upon the age of the student and the duties assigned.
Children 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous job responsibilities without special restrictions on their hours of work. See 29 C.F.R. § 570.50-68. However, children 14 and 15 years old may work in non-hazardous jobs for no more than eight hours per day and forty hours per week and only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. See 29 C.F.R. § 570.35.
Regardless of hours, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) prohibits all children 14-17 years of age from working in potentially hazardous occupations. Any job that requires a child to participate in roofing, operating or assist in operating a power-driven circular or band saw, chain saw, woodchipper, and any other potentially dangerous tool is considered a “hazardous job.” Currently, operating a lawn mower or weed eater is not included in the definition of hazardous job. Finally, the District must continue to comply with nepotism policies when employing summer help. See DBE (Legal).
If you have additional questions regarding the hiring of students, we recommend contacting your local school attorney.