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Hiring Summer Staff? Read This!


Now that it's *almost* summer, there are some great summer hiring rules outlined in the AIPB's General Ledger, May 2022. If you're thinking of hiring a summer student or even a family member, check these out! And remember -- always check your own state laws.


Paid holidays and vacations:

  • Paid holidays for part-time and summer help are optional under federal law, just as for regular employees. Check your state’s laws.

  • Although paid vacations are not required, some federal and state laws apply if you normally offer them.

Part-timer and temp benefits:

  • Optional—but if offered, the benefits should be explained in a written benefits plan.

100% Parent-owned businesses:

Owners’ children of any age

  • Can work any number of hours or time of day. If under 16, cannot do hazardous work (e.g., use lawn mowers, sewing machines, or work near flammable or hazardous materials, or where food is cooked).

  • If all employees are immediate family, owners’ children need not be paid the minimum wage. Caution: If even some regularly employed workers are not family, you are required to pay even family members the minimum wage.

Owners’ children: under age 21

  • Wages are exempt from FUTA.

Owners’ children: under age 18

  • If the business is 100% parent-owned, the children under 18 are exempt from FICA.

Not the owners’ children

If under age 18

  • If not the owners’ children, obtain an age certificate that is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and your state Wage and Hour Division (WHD). DOL often accepts state age certificates, but ask your state or local WHD to be sure. Return the certificate to the worker at termination.

If aged 14-15

  • Can work 8 hrs./day, 40 hrs./wk., June 1-Labor Day, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., if school is not in session. Exceptions: Limits do not apply to news carriers or children who are employed exclusively by a parent/ sole proprietor. For agricultural jobs, contact the DOL.

If under age 14

  • Cannot be hired unless they work for a parent/sole owner.

All employees (including an owner’s child):

  • Always obtain a W-4. Even from the owners’ children, student part-timers and foreign students.

  • Always withhold FITW. Even from the owner’s spouse or child, unless a W-4 claims exempt.

  • Always withhold FICA. Even from high school students and those receiving SS benefits. Exception: children under 18 working for sole-owner parents.

  • Always pay overtime for hours actually worked over 40 hours in the workweek. You are not required to include paid time off (holiday or vacation day hours). Do not substitute paid nonwork hours for overtime hours—i.e., do not try to make all hours straight time to avoid overtime pay.

Example: Luis works 12 hours a day for the first 4 days of the workweek, but not on the 5th day, a holiday, for which he is paid for 8 hours. He is correctly paid 40 hours’ straight time + 8 hours’ overtime + 8 holiday (nonwork) hours. Luis’s employer cannot substitute 8 hours’ holiday pay for the 8 overtime hours to avoid the overtime rate.

Always check your state’s laws.


Source: AIPB May 2022 General Ledger (Vol. 39, No.5)