TO: WATDA Member Dealers

FROM: Raymon L. Pedersen, Foundation Executive Director

DATE: November 17, 2005

RE: Employing Minors in Wisconsin

Over the years The Foundation of the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association has worked diligently in an effort to stock the stream of potential technicians. To that end, we have helped coordinate a seamless education process that begins at the high school level and carries on through technical college and beyond. We developed this process in conjunction with you the dealers and the manufacturers through youth apprenticeship and Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES). Consequently, the system that is in place produces young aspiring technicians who learn basic but useful skills while still in high school. However, to further their training and enhance our efforts to entice more people into the education programs we have built up, we need your help.

Student learners need to be exposed to hands on training. By hiring a youth apprentice or AYES student, you not only gain an employee who can hit the ground running because of the educational foundation they have obtained, but you have the opportunity to cultivate an eager employee into your service department and dealership’s culture. In the past some dealers have been apprehensive to hire minors. In fact, the law greatly restricted what job duties they could perform. That is no longer the case.

As a result of a cooperative effort with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), restrictions regarding minors working in or around hoists and hoisting apparatus and driving motor vehicles have been modified to allow high school employees to be productive dealership employees. The prohibition regarding minors working around hoists has been changed by creating an exception under DWD 270.12(12)(c), that allows, “Minors 16 and 17 years of age may operate floor jacks, service jacks, hand jacks, drive-on lifts, and arm lifts used in conjunction with repairing or servicing motor vehicles.”

This amendment was created specifically for the motor vehicle repair industry to accommodate the hiring of high school student learners, to allow them to gain valuable hands on experience before they begin the more extensive technical college training.

Likewise, DWD made modifications to the restrictions regarding motor vehicle drivers and outside helpers under DWD 270.12 (21) that allows for incidental and occasional driving by 17 year olds. “ Incidental and occasional driving is defined as, no more than one-third of the employees work time in any workday and no more than 20 percent of an employees work time in any workweek.” Further the rule states in part that:

Minors who are at least 17 years of age may drive motor vehicles on public roadways when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The driving is only occasional and incidental to the minor’s employment.
  2. The driving is restricted to daylight hours.
  3. The driving takes place within a 30-mile radius of the dealership.
  4. The vehicle does not exceed 6,000 GVW.
  5. They hold a valid state driver’s license.
  6. They have no record of moving violations at the time of hire.
  7. The vehicle is equipped with the appropriate number of safety belts and the minor receives instruction that they are to wear a safety belt at all times when driving or riding.
  8. Driving does not involve any of the following:
    1. Towing of vehicles.
    2. Route deliveries or route sales.
    3. Transportation fore hire.
    4. Transporting more than 3 other employees of the same employer as the minor.
    5. No more than 2 trips away from the dealership in a single day, if the purpose of the trip is to deliver goods.

As you can see DWD has been very accommodating to us and we are hoping that as a result, the Youth Apprenticeship and AYES Programs can continue to grow and be a great benefit to you. The rules have been changed so that young people who want to work for you have the base education and can come in and do things that will contribute to your service department’s productivity. All we need is your participation by giving these young people a chance to start a career at your dealership.

Additional Note: ALL minors fall under this rule, whether or not they are in a student learner program (like youth apprenticeship or AYES) or not. There is one distinction you should be aware of regarding work hours for students who are not in a student learner program administered through the high school. Minors who are NOT participants in a student learner program, cannot work during regular school hours, whereas youth apprentices and AYES students may do so.

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