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Oregon McDonald’s Hiring Workers as Young as 14 Amid Labor Shortage

Food companies have had to get creative to attract workers during the ongoing labor shortage. An Oregon McDonald’s is now even looking to hire teen workers as young as 14, according to a report from Insider (Aug. 31).

The Medford, Oregon, location has a banner out front that says it is hiring 14- and 15-year old workers. The restaurant operator, Heather Coleman, told Insider that the situation is unique in her family’s 40 years of operating McDonald’s franchises and that the young workers have been “a blessing in disguise.”

Coleman also told Insider that, although raising the minimum wage to $15 did not bring in as many applicants as she had hoped, opening the doors to this new demographic has already brought in about 25 new applications in two weeks.

Though uncommon, the Oregon restaurant isn’t the only fast-food chain to welcome younger workers aboard. A Burger King in Ohio put up a sign earlier this year that read “Do you have a 14- or 15-year-old? Do they need a job?? We will hire them!”


Labor laws for minors vary from state to state, but the Department of Labor set 14 as the minimum age for nonagricultural jobs. Teens aged 14 and 15 can work in restaurants and quick-service businesses. However, the number of hours and times of the week are more limited.

When it comes to pay, minors are entitled to be paid the same minimum wage as others, but workers under 20 can be paid as little as $4.25 an hour for up to 90 days of training.


McDonald’s has been upping its game during the pandemic to attract workers. Several weeks ago, the chain revealed it would offer tuition reimbursement programs that not only advance employee’s personal development but groom a company’s next crop of leaders.

Locations in North Carolina also hoped to hire between 200 and 250 workers during a walk-in hiring event in August, reported WRAL.com (Aug. 10). Some locations even offered a sign-on bonus, $600 for crew members and $1,000 for managerial positions.