The Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) sets wage, hours worked, and safety requirements for
minors (individuals under age 18) working in jobs
covered by the statute. The
rules vary depending upon the particular age of the minor and the particular
job involved. As a general rule, the FLSA sets 14 years of age as the minimum
age for employment, and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the
age of 16.
Also, the FLSA generally prohibits the employment of a minor in
work declared hazardous
by the Secretary of Labor (for example, work involving excavation, driving, and
the operation of many types of power-driven equipment). The FLSA contains a
number of requirements that apply only to particular types of jobs (for
example, agricultural work
or the operation of motor
vehicles) and many exceptions to the general
rules (for example, work
by a minor for his or her parents). Each state also has its own laws
relating to employment, including the employment of minors. If
state law and the FLSA overlap,
the law which is more protective of the minor will apply.
Nonagricultural employers must also post the Labor Department-issued Minimum
Wage Poster listing minimum age requirements in a prominent place at
The following links will help in determining whether a particular
job is covered by the FLSA, whether any special conditions apply, and obtaining
additional information, including state law, relating to the employment of
Child labor laws vary from state to state. Please consult your
state department of labor for this information.
DOL Web Pages on This
What Is the Youngest Age At
Which A Person Can Be Employed?
Information about age requirements for
A gateway providing quick access to information about federal and
state labor laws that apply to young workers. The web page includes information
designed to educate teens, parents, educators, and employers about the hours
youth can work, the jobs youth can do, and how to prevent workplace injuries.
elaws Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) Advisor Child Labor Rules
answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA's
child labor rules.
Exceptions for Minors Employed as Drivers
Specific guidance on what
roles a minor employee can take on while driving a motor vehicle on public
roadways. This notice lists other exemptions to the motor vehicle driving
Federal Child Labor Provisions to Grocery Stores Fact Sheet
direction on what jobs minor employees of certain ages may perform while
employed by grocery stores.
Federal Child Labor Provisions to Amusement Parks and Recreation Establishments
Specific information about what jobs minor employees of
certain ages may perform while employed by amusement parks. Prohibited jobs
include driving a motor vehicle or working as an outside helper on a public
Work Experience &
Career Exploration Program (WECEP)
Offers exceptions to the child labor
regulations that permit 14- and 15-year-olds to be employed in otherwise
prohibited circumstances. WECEP is designed to provide a carefully planned work
experience and career exploration program for students who can benefit from a
Information on state minimum wage rates and other
state child labor topics.
State Departments of Labor
Links to state departments of labor web sites and contact
information for each department.
Laws & Regulations on This
Minimum Age Standards for Nonagricultural Employment
Child Labor Reg. 3 Employment of
Minors Between 14 and 16 Years of Age