Cooperative education programs (“Co-op”) are considered employment situations. Students are placed in businesses. A school coord inator evaluates and grades them on pre-assigned job duties and training tasks. The employer must pay students at least the minimum wage and comply with all applicable State & Federal laws.
Under Maine law, the hours worked in these types of programs are not counted against the hours restrictions set for youth under the age of 18. (Federal laws are more restrictive for minors under the age of 16, regardless of school programs.)