Students at Brien McMahon High School joined staff from the Connecticut Department of Labor Thursday morning to speak on teen rights in the workplace. The event, sponsored by the Center for Youth Leadership and the School to Career Program of the Norwalk Public Schools, focused on wage standards, sexual harassment and other workplace issues.
"Before they go into the workplace, they need to know what their rights are, there's a lot of laws out there and a lot of people do not know the laws," said Connecticut Department of Labor Wage Enforcement agent Susanne Tufano. "The employees do not know the laws a lot of the time and the employers do not know the laws because there are so many laws, but we want to try to get the word out there to educate people."
Some students concerns ranged from workplace attire, cultural conflicts, wages, and required meal breaks.
"If you take a job that may have a certain dress code and may change their dress code, you may want to think about if you want to keep that job or not."
"I haven't personally experienced, but I know people that have and I know places that suggest people wear low cut shirts, or short shorts, especially during summer jobs."
"Every job is going to be kind of a gateway to your next job," said Tufano. "So if you have down something that you've done something inappropriate in your last job or wore something inappropriate, you may have problems getting future jobs that you may want to get in the future for a lifetime career."
The Connecticut Department of Labor's Wage Enforcement agent Michelle Morris says it's important that employees are aware of their company's personnel file.
"Looking at it shouldn't cost anything. Getting a copy of it could potentially cost up to $20 a page
For more information of the Department of Labor's statutes visit www.ct.gov/dol.