Washington Child Labor in Agriculture & Farming
Child labor laws on Washington and Federal levels have special provisions that apply to minors working in the agricultural industry, including working as farm hands, harvesting fruit or vegetables, etc. In many states, agricultural child labor laws focus on safety and tend to be less restrictive in terms of working hours than general child labor regulations.
In most cases, agricultural child labor laws do not apply to children working on their family's farm. Many traditionally agricultural states have less restrictive child labor laws in this area.
Washington Agricultural Child Labor Age RestrictionsAccording to Washington state law, the minimum age at which a minor may work in agriculture during school hours is 18. The minimum age at which a minor may work in agriculture outside of school hours is 14 years old, or 12 for hand-harvesting or cult. berries, bulbs, cucumbers and spinach during non-school week..
Minor Employment Certificate Requirements in WashingtonAn employment certificate is required by Washington state law for minors working in agriculture under the age of 18. No age certification is required for minors working in agriculture under Washington laws.
Washington Agricultural Child Labor Restrictions on Working Hours
Maximum Working Hours for Minors Under 16
Up to 8 hours per day and 40 per week may be worked by 12 and 13 year olds during a non-schoolweek.
Up to 8 hours per day and 40 per week may be worked by 14 and 15 year olds when school is not in session.
10 hours per day and 50per week (60 for wheat, hay and pea harvest) may be worked when school is not in session; and 4 hours per day / 28 per week when school is in session, by 16 and 17 year olds.
Washington specifies the following as the maximum days per week in which a minor under 16 can perform agricultural work: For minors under age 18, 6 days per week may be worked, or 7 if employed in dairy, livestock, hay and irrigation, with one day off every two weeks.
Nightwork Regulations for Minors Under 16
Nightwork is prohibited for minors under age 16 during the following time windows:
9 p.m. to 5 a.m., for ages 12 and 13 when school not in session. 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. (6 a.m. in dairy, livestock and irrigation) 14 and 15 on school day.
9 p.m. to 5 a.m., for ages 14 and 15 on non-school day.
10 p.m. (9 p.m. on consecutive school nights
Prohibited Hazardous Agricultural Occupations for Minors
Washington has some specific hazardous occupations for employees 18 and under, and adopts the Federal list of hazardous occupations for agricultural workers 16 and younger.
Other Washington Child Labor Laws
In addition to laws specifically regulating minors employed in the agricultural industry, Washington law has a variety of regulations that cover child labor in general. To learn more, see Washington child labor laws.