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Holiday work doesn’t give employers a holiday from OSHA laws

Now that the tricks and treats have been dealt, what many might call the true holiday season is upon us. The big consumer holidays are just around the corner; that means that seasonal work is available and appealing to many hopeful workers in California. 

Some workers are looking to make extra money on top of the hours they already work, with the work hours available due to the influx of shopping during this time of year. Others, like younger workers, for example, are looking to earn money while they might have some time off, in order to pay for the gifts they hope to purchase. Whatever the story, seasonal workers of all backgrounds have employment rights that OSHA enforces.

OSHA lists the following basic rules about seasonal work and employees’ rights:

  • Workers must be paid at least minimum wage.
  • Workers must be paid overtime if they work over 40 hours per week.
  • Youth workers are encouraged to join the seasonal workforce, but their safety is a top priority.
  • Youth ages 14 and 15 cannot work during school hours, and such young workers are prohibited from working in certain hazardous jobs. 
  • Youth ages 16 and 17 can work more, less limited hours but are still legally unable to work certain hazardous jobs. 

Employment laws can be complicated and vary depending on the state in which someone works. But the basic idea is that seasonal workers have rights that their employers must provide. Those rights include wage and hour laws and workplace safety regulations. Someone who believes they are a victim of a negligent employer or unsafe workplace should talk to an attorney in their state to learn about their legal options.

Source: United States Department of Labor: “Seasonal Employment/Part-Time Information,” accessed Nov. 10, 2015


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