CITIZEN VOICES® Extend student work hour limits?

Jun 08, 2018

Current law limits teens to 48 hours of work while they're on vacation and 30 hours during a five-day school week. A recent effort to increase the limit to 56 hours over vacation weeks failed. Proponents say the change would help combat the state's labor shortage and aid those businesses that get fined by the state for violating labor laws because teenagers exceeded work limits. Opponents say longer hours might make the students too tired to do their school work.

Read more about issues related to employee protections in New Hampshire

“Should 16- and 17-year-olds be allowed to work up to 56 hours/week during school vacation?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 26, 2018

157 citizens responded104 citizens were in favor of allowing some teens to work more hours36 citizens were opposed to allowing some teens to work more hours17 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

Yes: 104 citizens were in favor of allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work up to 56 hours a week during school vacation.

  • “If they want the hours, give it to them. It's school vacation.”
  • “I think if the parent approves the amount of hours and the teenager does, they should be able to decide for themselves how much they want to work.”
  • “I think it should be the choice of the individual as long as the employer pays time and a half over forty.”

No: 36 citizens were opposed to allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work up to 56 hours a week during school vacation.

  • “40-48 hours a week is plenty for a kid. Let them enjoy the small amount of freedom they have left.”
  • “A kid who hasn't graduated high school yet should be making education their priority. There are many years after high school to gather wealth.”
  • “They're minors and this would open them up to exploitation.”

Other: 17 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Relevance: “How many actually work during the summer?”
  • Enforcement: “No idea if that law was in effect when I was a kid working 40-50 hours during [the] school year, 60-80 during vacations.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology


Chuck Malias
- Manchester

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 9:01am

Agree with the majority in this survey and Mike D. One survey participant was opposed on the grounds education should trump gathering of wealth. I'm willing to bet these kids are working to help their middle-class parents, pay for car insurance and saving for college.

Mike Dunbar
- Hampton

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 9:24am

During school vacation, 16- and 17-year-olds should have the same right to work that adults do.

Related Bill

HB 1321 (2018)
Bill Status: Interim Study
Hearing date: Jan 17, 2018

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