Federal Child Labor Laws Federal Child Labor Laws 2024

Child labor laws on Federal and state levels exist to prevent the exploitation of minors for labor, and ensure that education is prioritized over work. Limitations on child labor vary by age, and may include restrictions on the types of work that can be done, maximum hours that may be worked, and limitations on late or overnight work.

Regulation of child labor may include the use of Employment Certificates issued by the minor's school or the state Labor Department, and/or an Age Certification document that verifies the minor's age for work purposes. This page details Federal child labor law regulations.

Mandatory Employment & Age Certification for Minors

Employment Certificates under Federal Law

Employment Certificates, also known as Work Permits, are not required in order for minors to work under Federal law. Employers are still responsible for ensuring that they comply with all Federal child labor restrictions and regulations.

The federal government does not require any kind of work permit or employment certificate in order for minors to legally be able to work. Many states, however, do require a certificate.

Age Certification under Federal Law

Age certification is a process through which minors provide proof of their age to a prospective employer, which helps ensure that all child labor laws mandated for their age bracket are followed.

Age certification is not required under Federal law, but it is common practice that agencies will provide certification on request for minors under 18.

Acquiring an Age Certificate from the Federal Government:

Under Federal law, age certification for minors is carried out by the Federal Department of Labor.

Minor Working Hour Restrictions under Federal Law

Minors who are authorized to work under federal law are subject to restrictions on when they can work, and how many hours they can work. The exact restrictions in effect depend on the age of the minor, and are designed to ensure that work does not interfere with the minor's schooling.

Maximum Hours of Work for Minors

Working hour restrictions limit how many hours a minor may work per day, and per week.

For Minors Under 16:

8 hours per day and 40 per week are permitted during a non-school day period, during a school period 3 hours per day 18 hours per week are allowed.

For Minors Ages 16 and 17:

Federal has no restrictions on maximum working hours for minors aged 16 and 17.

Notes: Students of 14 and 15 enrolled in approved Work Experience and Career Exploration programs may work during school hours up to 3 hours on a school day and 23 hours in a schoolweek.

Nightwork Restrictions for Minors

Nightwork restrictions set limits on how late a minor can legally work.

For Minors Under 16:

Work is prohibited during these hours: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (9 p.m. to 7 a.m. June 1 through Labor Day)

For Minors Ages 16 and 17:

Federal law has no restrictions on nightwork for minors aged 16 and 17.

Special Child Labor Laws from the Federal Government

In addition to laws requiring work certificates or age verification for general employment of minors, most states have special regulations governing the employment of minors in agriculture (such as farm work and harvesting), and the entertainment industry (including child actors, models, and performers).

To learn about these special child labor laws on a Federal level, see the following pages.

On a Federal level, child labor is regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Minors and students may additionally be subject to special labor law regulations regarding minimum wage, meal and break periods while working, and more.

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** This Document Provided By Minimum-Wage.org **
Source: http://www.minimum-wage.org/federal/child-labor-laws