Minimum Legal Age to Work in Connecticut

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Many teens in Connecticut want to work, but they're not sure if they can because they don't know the minimum legal age required. If you want to save up for your first car, tuition fees for college or simply don't want to rely on your family as much for money anymore, get the facts on working as a minor in your state.

How Old Do Must You Be to Work in Connecticut?

Federal child labor laws and Connecticut state law agree that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions).

Some states may set a different minimum age to work and permits needed to do so. When there is a conflict between federal and state laws, the more stringent law will apply.

Although 14 is the general age Connecticut youth may begin working, younger children have opportunities to do so as well. Child labor laws don't typically apply to jobs such as babysitting, delivering newspapers, working as a golf caddy or gardening without power-driven machinery. So, if you're under 14, you might still have some opportunities to make some money.

This is especially true if your parents run a business or a farm and need you to work for them in some capacity. Child labor laws generally permit children under 14 to help their parents out in the family business. But before children begin working jobs for kids, it is important to review the rules and restrictions surrounding minor labor laws, especially if they're planning to work more steadily as they age.

Here is an overview of the requirements for youth to work in Connecticut.

Certificates Needed to Work

Connecticut state law requires all kids under age 16 to obtain a child employment certificate to work. Youth may obtain the certificates at school. Ask about the employment certificates at your school's office to find out how to get a certificate.

In addition, children ages 16 and 17 are required by Connecticut state law to obtain an age certificate provided by the school.

Types of Work Teens Can Perform

Teens ages 14-15 can work in a wide range of fields, including in agriculture or in hospitals, convalescent homes, hotels and motels, but they may not complete tasks involving food service or laundry. Teens this age may also work in banks, insurance companies, professional offices, city offices, licensed summer camps or in any mercantile establishment as a bagger, cashier, or stock clerk.

However, young teens may only work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. when school is in session. When school is out, they may work until 9 p.m.

Teen workers age 16-17 may work longer hours and during a longer time span. They may work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and until midnight when school is not in session. They may work 32 hours per week when school is in session and up to 48 hours when it isn't.

For more information on the minimum age to work in Connecticut and how to obtain employment certificates, visit the Connecticut State Labor Website.