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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > elaws Advisors > FLSA - Child Labor Rules Advisor
elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA - Child Labor Rules Advisor

Child Labor Introduction

Federal child labor rules are established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor rules affecting full- and part-time workers in the private sector and in the Federal, state and local governments. The rules vary depending upon the age of the young worker and his or her occupation.

Two things are certain:

  1. Once an employee is 18, there are no Federal child labor rules.
  2. Federal child labor rules do not require work permits. However, the Department of Labor will issue age certificates if your state does not issue them and you are asked to provide them by your employer.

All states have child labor standards. When Federal and state standards are different, the rules that provide the most protection to young workers will apply. You may find out about the child labor laws in your state by clicking the State Child Labor Laws button below.

This Advisor answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA and its child labor rules. Most employment is covered, but you may wish to learn more about FLSA coverage by clicking on the FLSA Coverage and Employment Status Advisor listed below.

Before using this Advisor, you may want to review a brief explanation of what the FLSA requires and what the FLSA does NOT require. You may also want to review the list of child labor frequently asked questions.

Interactive Advisors
Child Labor Rules
FLSA Coverage and Employment Status

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State Child Labor Laws
Child Labor Publications

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