Is this legal?

Some businesses in my town refuse to hire people under 17, some under 18, I’m 16, Is this legal? I thought businesses can’t refuse to hire someone because of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, etc…

I don’t know what the laws are everywhere, but I’m pretty sure that the age laws you’re talking about only apply to those of us who are over 18.

I’m from New York.

Legal? That’s debateable.

But there are liabilty and legal reasons why some won’t. The under-18 set often has more rules and restrictions on what they can do at work than the adult set.

For instance, when I worked at a Pizza store, the massive dough mixer we used couldn’t be used by anyone under 18. Not because they couldn’t do it, but because of insurance reasons.

This page summarizes the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 as it applies to child labor. That is federal law. You’ll also want to check out New York Child Labor Laws.

You’ll also want to ponder the The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which was obviously written to encourage eployment among older workers, and includes:

When I was in high school, I got a job at my school repairing computers. At the time minimum wage was $3.15/hr. Not only were they allowed to hire me, they were allowed to hire me at below minimum wage, namely $2.85/hr. And this was the government as an employer. Child-labor laws my ass.

To Whom Should “Not Less Than” the Minimum Wage Be Paid?

And The Youth “Sub-Minimum” Wage includes:

There are many, many jobs that require you to be 18 (or 21, or whatever). I think “discrimination” only comes into play for those who are older, since, you know, they vote. :wink: Insurance regulations have a lot to do with many of these restrictions (federal law even prohibits those under the age of 18 from doing certain “dangerous” jobs, mining, heavy machinery, etc). So, in short: I don’t know.

Age discrimination only applies between the ages of 18 and 70. A business can legally decide not to hire anyone younger than 18 or older than 70 on the basis of their age.

Also, there are legal restrictions on the type of jobs can hire a minor. In New York, you need working papers, of course, but there are other restrictions (no operating heavy machinery, for instance). You are also limited in the number of hours you can work (especially when you’re 16) and an employer may only be interested in those able to work 40 hours a week.