As I reported a few weeks ago, 14- and 15-year-olds can legally work again in limited capacities in Connecticut.  (Summer camp counselors are summer camp; courtesy "morgue file"on the list.) 

But how does state law compare to federal law?

Turns out the Office of Legislative Research has already done the research.  OLR recently posted the results of their research on their website.

What does the research conclude?

In some areas, state law sets a higher standard than federal law regarding employment of 14- and 15-year-olds. In other areas, state law is silent, therefore the federal standard applies.

State and federal law coincide in a number of areas, including permitting minors age 14 and 15 to do certain nonhazardous jobs outside of school hours for limited times each day and week.

[The recently passed] PA 08 -108 permits 15-year-olds to be employed as baggers, cashiers, or stock clerks in retail businesses under certain work-hour restrictions. Federal law sets a similar standard for 15-year-olds, but also allows 14-year olds to work in these establishments.

As with the interaction of other labor laws (such as FMLA and CTFMLA), each of these laws acts as a "floor" for protection. Thus, while one law may be more lenient than another, proper interpretation of the law takes the more "stringent" of the laws. 

For employers who use teenagers in their work, particularly for the summer, I suggest a peek at the OLR research report to ensure that you understand the differences between the two areas of law.

This is particularly important because of more severe penalties that have recently been passed by Congress. More on that law can be found here.

Ed: Updated to fix links.