Are There Restrictions On The Hours A Minor Can Work?

When school is in session minors under 16 may work three hours on all days except Saturday and Sunday when they may work up to eight hours per day. Minors under age 16 may work up to 15 hours a week when school is in session. When school is not in session minors 14 & 15 may work eight hours per day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., on days when there isn't school the next day and up to 40 hours per week on non school weeks and during summer vacation. Note that federal law is more restrictive than state law, limiting 14 and 15 year olds to work not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1, through Labor Day). Employers who are covered under the FLSA must adhere to the federal application of the law.

For minors 16 & 17, the allowable work hours are: 30 hours a week when school is in session; eight hours per day between 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. if school is scheduled the following day. There are no limitations on hours worked when school is not scheduled the following day or during holidays and summer vacation.

Minors may work no more than six consecutive days in any one week. They are not permitted to work during normal school hours unless they are enrolled in a school­to­work experience program, career education or other program declared exempt by the state or have received a partial waiver. Minors may work no more than four consecutive hours without a 30 minute, uninterrupted break. The employer is not required to pay wages for a minor's break time.

Minors are exempt from the hours restrictions of the Child Labor Law if they have been married, graduated from an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma, served in the military, authorized by a court order, or been issued a partial waiver. Waivers may be granted on a case­by­case basis, when it clearly appears in the best interest of the minor. Minors enrolled in the K­12 (public school program) may apply for this waiver by asking their public school superintendent or designee. For minor's who are no longer enrolled in the public high school system of K­12 programs, they are required to submit a Partial Waiver Application (FCL_1002) and supporting documentation to the Child Labor Office for approval.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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