Skip Navigation LinksHome > Government Affairs >

Laws & Regulations

CHILD LABOR LAWS

(TITLE 26: LABOR AND INDUSTRY; CHAPTER 7 - EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES: SUBCHAPTER IV: EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN; ARTICLE 1 - PROVISIONS COMMON TO FEMALES AND MINORS; SECTIONS 702-775)

The penalties for violating Child Labor Law can be severe. The laws are complex and must be carefully observed. All employers must keep records that show what time the minor began work, total hours worked and what time the minor finished for the day. Here are several of the critical elements followed by links to the laws themselves.

Minors Under 14 Years of Age

    In general, minors under 14 years of age may not work in restaurants or hotels. The only exception is that minors under 14 years who are employed by, with or under the direct supervision of a parent may work in restaurants or on the grounds of a hotel or motel.

    Minors Under 14 Years of Age - Section 771
    (State Law) A minor under 14 years of age may not be employed, permitted or suffered to work in, about or in connection with agriculture, except for the planting, cultivating or harvesting of field crops or other agricultural employment not in direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances, any eating place, automatic laundries, retail establishment where frozen dairy products are manufactured on the premises, sporting or overnight camp, mercantile establishment or in outdoor occupations on the grounds of a hotel, and a minor between the ages of 14 and 16 years may not be so employed when the distance between the work place and the home of the minor, or any other factor, necessitates the minor's remaining away from home overnight. FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 16 Years of Age

(State Law) Minors 14 years old may legally work in restaurants (if not on the premises of a hotel or motel) and on the grounds of a hotel or motel.

Minors 15 years old may legally work in dining rooms, kitchens, lobbies and offices of hotels and motels. They are prohibited from performing room service, making deliveries to the hotel rooms or entering the hallways to those rooms.

Federal labor law contains specific provisions regarding job duties for 14 and 15 years olds. These work restrictions include:

  • Work in or around boiler or engine rooms

  • Work in connection with the maintenance or repair of the establishment, machines or equipment

  • Outside window washing that involves working from window sills, or perform work that requires the use of ladders, scaffolds or their substitutes

  • Cook (except at soda fountains, lunch counters, snack bars or cafeteria serving counters) or bake. Note: A Department of Labor opinion letter dated June 22, 1989 provides that cooking is allowed when performed in an area not separated by a partition and in the customer's view. The DOL regards activities such as cooking hamburgers and preparing french fries as cooking.

  • Engage in occupations which involve operating, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing power driven food slicers or grinders, food choppers and cutters, and bakery-type mixers

  • Work in freezers or meat coolers to perform any work in the preparation of meats for sale (except wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing and stocking when performed in other areas)

  • Load or unload trucks, railroad cars or conveyors or

  • Engage in occupations in warehouses except office and clerical work

A synopsis of the laws affecting hours minors ages 14 and 15 may work follows: For those students who are enrolled in school when school is in session the law states:

  1. They must have a stamped approved work permit, which you must keep on file, before any minor under 16 may perform work.

  2. They may not work more than 18 hours per week on any week school is in session for one or more days

  3. They may not work more than 3 hours on a school day

  4. They may not work more than 6 days in a row

  5. They may not work during the hours that the minor's school is in session

  6. They may not work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

When School is Not in Session, these laws apply:

  1. They may not work more than 40 hours per week (school must be out of session all week)

  2. They may not work more than 8 hours per day

  3. They may not work more than 6 consecutive days

  4. They may work until 9 p.m. during summer vacation

Minors Under 16 Years of Age; Hours of Employment - Section 774

A minor under 16 years of age may not be employed as follows:

  • More than 40 hours in any week when school is not in session; [1991, c. 544, §5 (new).]

  • More than 18 hours in any week when school is in session; [1991, c. 544, §5 (new).]

  • More than 8 hours in …FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 16 Years of Age; Prohibited Certain Places - Section 773
A minor under 16 years of age may not be employed, permitted or suffered to work in, about or in connection with any manufacturing or mechanical establishment, hotel, rooming house, laundry, except those commonly known as automatic laundries, dry cleaning establishments, bakery, bowling alley, poolroom, commercial places of amusement, including traveling shows and circuses, or in any theater or moving picture house or in conjunction with an amusement, game or show that allows or conducts betting. FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 16 Years of Age; Work Permits - Section 775
This provision of the law contains complete instructions on work permits for minors under 16 years of age. It discusses proof of age, conditions for issuance, conditions for revocation and permit on file. Work permits must be issued by the superintendent of schools. The employer must keep the permit, approved by the Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), on file. The minor is allowed only one permit during the school year and two during summer vacation. The minor cannot work until the permit is approved by the BLS. "A minor under 16 years of age may not be employed without a work permit issued to the minor by the superintendent of schools of the school administrative unit in which the minor resides. The superintendent..." FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 16 Years of Age; Record of Work Hours - Section 702
Every employer shall keep a time book or record for every minor under 18 years of age employed in any occupation, except the planting, cultivating or harvesting of field crops or other agricultural employment not in direct contact with hazardous machinery or hazardous substances, or household work, stating the number of hours worked by each minor under 18 years of age on each day of the week. The time book or record must be open at all reasonable hours...FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 18 Years of Age.

Minors 16 years and older may legally be employed in non-hazardous jobs in manufacturing establishments, bakeries, laundries, dry cleaning establishments and garages. They may also work in hotels, motels and commercial places of amusement. New as of May 14, 2001, minors age 16 or 17 may not use a motor vehicle on any public road (including their own) while on your payroll. They also may not use ladders or be on any scaffolding.

A synopsis of the law affecting hours minors ages 16 to 17 may work follows: For those students who are enrolled in school when school is in session the law states:

  1. They do not need a work permit
  2. They can work no more than 24 hours per week on any week that the school calendar is three days or more
  3. They can work no more than 6 hours each day, except that they may work 8 hours on the last school day of the week
  4. They cannot work before 7 a.m. (or 5 a.m. on a nonschool day)
  5. They cannot work after 10:15 p.m. the night before there is a school day (12 midnight when there is no school the next day)
  6. On the first week or last week of the school year or if the school calendar is less that three days in a given week, they may work a maximum of 50 hours that week.

When School is Not in Session, these laws apply:

  1. They may not work more than 10 hours in any one day on any scheduled nonschool day
  2. They may not work more than 50 hours in one week that the school calendar is less than three days or during the first or last week of the school calendar
  3. They cannot work before 5 a.m.
  4. They cannot work after 12 midnight

Penalties for violating these statues are per occurrence and are a minimum of $250. For example, if a minor age 16 or 17 came to work at 6:00 p.m. on a school day and punched out at 10:04 p.m., you are liable for two violations -- one for working past 10:00 p.m. and one for exceeding 4 hours on a school day! That mistake alone could cost you $500!

Minors Under 18 Years of Age - Section 772
A minor under 18 years of age may not be employed in any capacity that the director determines to be hazardous, dangerous to life or limbs, injurious to morals or when the minor's health would be injured. FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Minors Under 18 Years of Age; Hours of Employment - Section 774
A minor under 18 years of age, enrolled in school, may not be employed as follows:

  • More than 50 hours in any week when school is not in session; [1993, c. 434, §3 (amd).]
  • More than 20 hours in any week when school is in session, except that the minor may work up to 8 hours on each day that an authorized school closure occurs up to a total of 28 hours in that week... FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Penalties

  • For the first violation or a violation not subject to an enhanced sanction under paragraph B or C, a forfeiture or penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $5,000; [1991, c. 544, §10 (new).]

  • For a 2nd violation occurring within 3 years of a prior adjudication, a forfeiture or penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; or [1991, c. 544, §10 (new).]

  • For a 3rd and subsequent violation occurring within 3 years of 2 or more prior adjudication, a penalty of not less than $2,000 nor more than $10,000. [1991, c. 544, §10 (new).]...FULL TEXT OF THE LAW

Release Date: 1/4/2001 12:00:00 AM