Boston Recruits Teens, But Risks for Work-Related Accidents Could Increase

As we recently reported on our Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, there were nearly 18 million young employees in the U.S. in 2010. These millions represent the young workers under the age of 24 in the country. With the summer quickly approaching, teens will be hitting the workforce looking for a gig to pick up some extra cash while they’re away from school. What they’re probably not thinking about are their risks for a work-related accident in Boston. Teens have the highest rate for on-the-job injuries than any other age group of workers.
Each year, there are more than 200,000 teenagers who are injured at work. About 70 die every year from these same accidents. In Massachusetts, more than 900 teens visit emergency rooms for work-related injuries every year. Our state sees an average of one young worker fatality every year as well, according to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of Attorney General.

Our Boston workers compensation attorneys remind all teen workers and their parents about youth employment laws. These laws are in place to help protect young workers from on-the-job dangers. They are also required to follow limits on how many hours they’re allowed to work. The Massachusetts Youth Employment Laws can be found in the Massachusetts General Laws. Within these laws, employers are required to maintain a safe work environment for all workers. As a teen worker, you have both rights and responsibilities to uphold.

Recently, Mayor Thomas Menino sent out a big “thank you” to all of the local companies that opened their doors to teens for the summer. A number of companies around Boston welcome teen workers while they’re away from school and he encourages more to do the same.

“No other city has a summer jobs program like ours. And no other city has a business community like ours. This is why Boston offers the most summer jobs per capita of any major city in America,” said the mayor.

The city also recently unveiled a new website,, to help teens get a jump start on their summer job search.

Mayor Menino says that this website will be the centerpiece of the 2012 summer jobs program. Businesses are welcome to join, hire teens through the site, view user testimonials and learn more about the program.

For a teen worker, an employer must:

-Provide a safe and healthy workplace.

-Provide adequate training, including information regarding harmful chemicals that may be used in the workplace.

-Pay for medical care if you get sick or you get hurt because of your job. In many of these cases, you’re also entitled to lost wages.

-Pay you minimum wage, which in the state of Massachusetts is $8 per hour.

-Pay you for all of the hours you worked.

-Pay you 1.5 times your regular pay for each hour that you work over 40 hours in a week.

As a teen worker, you have a right to:

-Voice concerns regarding your health and safety on the job.

-File a complaint with OSHA about safety and health problems.

-Refuse to work if the job you’re requested to do is dangerous to your health or your life.

-Work without sexual or racial harassment.

-Organize or join a union.

-Keep the tips you receive, either directly or through a valid tip-pool with co-workers.

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured employees in Boston, Norwood, Quincy, Taunton and elsewhere throughout the state. If you or your teen has suffered a work-related accident and would like to file a disability claim, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777
More Blog Entries:

Boston Work Accidents Involving Teens Jump During Summer , Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 13, 2012

Office Workers Also at Serious Risks for Work-Related Injuries in Massachusetts , Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 6, 2012

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