What's the Minimum Legal Working Age in Hawaii?

The Workplace Can Be a Rewarding Experience for Young People

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If you're a Hawaiian who wants to start your very first job, you need to know what the minimum legal working age in your state is before launching your search for work. If you're indeed eligible to work, congratulations on your path to financial independence.

Now is the time to begin earning cash for a car, clothing, college or other items young people often need. If you need to work to support yourself, your family or both, you'll want to know how many hours you can legally work at your age.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Hawaii?

The minimum age to work in Hawaii is 14. That's the same age that federal child labor laws generally state the minimum working age is. Sometimes child labor laws in states conflict with the federal law's minimum age to work. When that happens, the more stringent law will be followed.

Children younger than 14 may work in some circumstances. Hawaii allows minors under age 14 to work as models, dancers, singers, musicians, entertainers or as performers in motion pictures, television, radio or theater under conditions determined by the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

If you're not a performer but you're under 14, you're not out of luck. Child labor laws generally don't prohibit children from doing household chores, babysitting or delivering newspapers. The same goes for kids who want to work in their family's business or on the family farm.

Before youth enter the workforce, they should consult the rules surrounding child labor laws.

Certificates for Work

Hawaii state law requires child employment certificates for youth under age 16. They can obtain the certificate online and return it in person or by snail mail with proof of age (birth certificate, driver's license or permit, court record, State of Hawaii ID, etc.) and signatures from both a parent and the employer.

What Hours Can Teens Work?

Although teens ages 14-15 can work in a wide range of jobs, including in grocery stores, offices, restaurants, and hospitals, their hours are limited. Hawaiian youth this age can't work more than three hours in a school day, 18 hours in a school week, eight hours on a non-school day or 40 hours during a non-school week.

Moreover, these teens must work hours that fall between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except on non-school days when working hours extend from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) Teens ages 16-17 do not have restrictions on hours except when they're supposed to be in school. They will need a Certificate of Age, which they can obtain online.

Teens of all ages may not work in jobs that expose them to hazards that might cause injuries, death or adverse health effects.

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