Kentucky Child Labor Laws Kentucky Child Labor Laws 2023

Child labor laws on Kentucky and <a href="/federal/child-labor-laws">Federal</a> 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 Kentucky's child labor law regulations.

Mandatory Employment & Age Certification for Minors

Employment Certificates in Kentucky

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

Employers of children under age 18 must maintain a proof of age of each minor employee.

Age Certification in Kentucky

While some states require working minors to provide their employers with an age certification document, this is not required for minors who wish to work in Kentucky. Employers are expected to identify minors whom they employ and ensure that their employment is in compliance with all Federal and state child labor restrictions.

Minor Working Hour Restrictions in Kentucky

Minors who are authorized to work in Kentucky 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 work per day and 40 in a week are permitted when school is not in session. When school is in session 3 hours of work are allowed per schoolday (8 on nonschool days), and 18 per week.

For Minors Ages 16 and 17:

6 hours of work per day (8 Saturday and Sunday), 30 hours per week, are permitted if attending school. Up to 40 hours may be worked per week with parental permission and at least a 2.0 school grade point average.

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. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.

For Minors Ages 16 and 17:

Work is prohibited during these hours: 10:30 p.m. (1 a.m. Friday and Saturday) to 6 a.m. when school in session.

Special Child Labor Laws in Kentucky

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 in Kentucky, 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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