CLEVELAND — Master Pizza owner Michael LaMarca said answering phones is a simple, yet vital, task. He said it’s something a 14- or 15-year-old could do.

He doesn’t hire many teens of those ages since current state law doesn’t allow them to work past 7 p.m. on school nights. He said he is hoping a new bill working through the Ohio Statehouse can change that. 

What You Need To Know

  • A bill is working its way through the statehouse that would expand the hours teens 17 and under could work

  • Current state law doesn't allow them to work past 7 p.m. on school nights

  • SB 30 would allow those teens to work until 9 p.m on school nights if their parents allow it 

“We would like to have someone dedicated to making sure the customer experience ordering pizza is thorough and at a good pace where we’re not rushing it," LaMarca said. 

Senate Bill 30 would allow anyone under 17 to work until 9 p.m. during the school year on school nights if their parents allow it. LaMarca said the bill would give him some extra hands during peak hours.

“Right now, we’re busy from 5 to 9, 5 to 8," LaMarca said. "So when it starts to get real busy, they would have to leave.”

Republican Sen. Jerry Cirino is a cosponsor of the bill. He said it unanimously passed the committee on March 1. He said this bill has been proposed in previous sessions, but hasn’t really budged much until now.

“It became more acute than in past general assemblies because right now, we're experiencing such a shortage of manpower across all industries," Cirino said. "And that wasn’t the case four years ago when the bill was considered previously.”

Whether it’s food running or setting tables, LaMarca said more help wouldn’t just boost productivity. It also puts more money in a kid’s pocket, and two more hours of work can mean a lot if they need the money.

“Some kids are saving up for a car," LaMarca said. "Some kids are saving up for a class trip or a sports trip.”

Cirino expects the bill to reach the floor for a vote on March 8 and is optimistic that it will pass.