Minors under the age of 18 have a few less restrictions on the types of jobs they can do under changes announced by the Maine Department of Labor. The new rules govern hazardous occupations for minors in non-agricultural employment.
Among the changes: easing state restrictions to allow 17-year-olds to drive for work-related businesses, but only under very specific circumstances and conditions.
Maine Department of Labor spokesperson Laura Hudson says, for example, that the 17-year-old would have to have successfully completed a state-approved driver education course, and have no record of any moving violations.
"The driving takes place within a 30-mile radius, for instance," Hudson says. "The automobile or truck is equipped with a seat belt for the driver and any passengers. The driving may not involve towing vehicles."
And Hudson says 17-year-olds can only drive on an occasional and incidental basis, meaning not more than a third of their workday and no more than 20 percent of any work week.
Teens who are 16 and 17 are no longer prohibited from working alone in a cash-based business. They're also allowed to perform soldering and welding in certain circumstances.
And Hudson says says it's now OK for 14- and 15-year-olds to cook in places like soda fountains, lunch counters and cafeterias.
A new restriction prohibits minors under the age of 18 from working in the marijuana industry.
Hudson says the changes in Maine are designed to align state rules with federal standards.