Illegally Rich

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2018

I started my first job when I was fourteen. There are a lot of rules that have to be followed when someone under eighteen works, like how often one can work, time of the day, and stuff like that. I think I broke every single one. However, I was only glad for the money and apparently, it’s the employer who has to make sure the rules are followed, not the employee.

When you’re under fifteen, you need written consent from your parents before you can start working. I never had written consent; however, my manager knew that my parents agreed as my manager kind of knew my mom.

Also, when under fifteen, you can’t work more than two hours a day, and twelve hours a week. I definitely worked more than that.

When under fifteen, it’s not legal to work after 8:00 pm or before 6:00 am. I often worked until 10:00 pm and started work at 4:30 or  5:30 am.

When under eighteen, you’re not allowed to work overtime, so a maximum of nine hours a day, and forty hours a week. I often worked more than nine hours a day, sometimes more than forty hours a week, as well. I got paid for it, so I was happy. As I had near to no expenses, I definitely felt rich when I got paid and didn’t have to pay any bills or anything like that.

I was also entitled to thirty-minute breaks when working four and a half hours or more, and since I didn’t get to leave my workplace, I was supposed to get paid during those thirty minutes. I didn’t get paid, so I often just didn’t take a break. My manager made sure I got paid for thirty minutes extra every day.

There was also the issue with vacation. When under eighteen, if you go to school, you have to have four weeks and one day of vacation each year, and two of the weeks have to be during the summer months. I worked all through the summer, each summer, all of the “red days” — Sundays, Christmas, and Easter — where we get paid 100% overtime.

For the sake of my employer, and myself, I am very glad that the labor inspection never checked us, as my employer would have been in trouble, and I wouldn’t have been able to work all of those hours. Was it legal? Definitely not, but hey, I got paid, and my employer saved money, as I was cheaper than people over the age of 18.

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