Teens and Work

Rules and Regulations

Woman working at a cafe
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Maybe you want to have some fun on the weekends. Perhaps you want to buy some clothes, or CDs, or books. Or, you may be trying to save money for college. In any case, you'll need a job. Before you start making plans for your first paycheck, and even before you start job hunting, there are some things you need to know.

If you are under 14 years of age, you may be out of luck. In The United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum age for employment at 14.

It also limits the number of hours minors who are under the age of 16 can work. In addition, the FLSA generally prohibits the employment of a minor in work declared hazardous by the US Secretary of Labor. Included is 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). The FLSA has exceptions to these limitations. For example, minimum age requirements do not apply to minors employed by their parents or guardian. However, minors may not work in mining, manufacturing, and occupations where the minimum age requirement of 18 years old applies. Youths of any age may also deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; and babysit or perform other minor duties around a private home.

Laws regulating the employment of minors vary among states and U.S. territories. On the following pages you will find information on each state's or territory's requirements in regard to employment or age certificates. You are encouraged to also contact your own state's Labor Department.

Source: US Department of Labor

Alabama through Hawaii
Idaho through Missouri
Montana through Puerto Rico
Rhode Island through Wyoming

Alabama

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), and age 18 in mines, issued by school
Age Certificate: Not issued

Alaska

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 17 and under age 19 if employer is licensed to sell alcohol (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: Not issued

Arizona

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Not issued

Arkansas

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: Age 16 and 17, issued by Labor Department

California

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 who are enrolled in school (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Not issued

Colorado

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 during school hours (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under 18 except not issued to minors under age 16 for work during school hours (on request), issued by school

Connecticut

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors ages 16 and 17 (mandated), issued by school

Delaware

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by: Labor Department and school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

District of Columbia

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Florida

Employment Certificate: No Provision*
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (on request), issued by school
Note: The employer of a minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age.

Georgia

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Guam

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: Not issued

Hawaii

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: Issued to minors ages 16 and 17 (mandated), issued by Labor Department

*"No provision" indicates that the issuance of an employment or age certificate is unnecessary because another type of certificate covers all minors.

Source: US Department of Labor

More
Rules and Regulations
Idaho through Missouri
Montana through Puerto Rico
Rhode Island through Wyoming

Idaho

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Not issued

Illinois

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors from ages 16 to 20 (on request), issued by school

Indiana

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors from ages 18 to 21 (on request), issued by school

Iowa

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors from ages 16 and 17 (mandated) and 18 and over (on request), issued by school
Note: Both certificates are also issued by the schools.

Kansas

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Not issued

Kentucky

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (on request), issued by school

Louisiana

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Maine

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors ages 16 and 17 (on request), issued by school

Maryland

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Labor Department and school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Massachusetts

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors ages 16 and 17 (mandated), issued by school

Michigan

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Minnesota

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 during school hours (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18, except not issued to minors under 16 during school hours (on request), issued by school
Note: The employer of a minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age.

Mississippi

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 in mills, canneries, workshops, and factories (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Not issued

Missouri

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors age 16 and over (on request), issued by school

*"No provision" indicates that the issuance of an employment or age certificate is unnecessary because another type of certificate covers all minors.

Source: US Department of Labor

More

Rules and Regulations
Alabama through Hawaii
Montana through Puerto Rico
Rhode Island through Wyoming

Montana

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and over: in hazardous situations (mandated) and in other occupations (on request), issued by Labor Department

Nebraska

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and over (on request), issued by school

Nevada

Employment Certificate: Issued for minors under age 14 with written permission of district judge (mandated)
Age Certificate: Not issued

New Hampshire

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Not issued
Note: Employers must maintain on file a signed, written document from the youth's parent of legal guardian authorizing the employment.

New Jersey

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors ages 18 to 21 (on request), issued by school

New Mexico

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by Labor Department and school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and 17; issued by Labor Department and school

New York

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 18 and over, issued by school

North Carolina

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Department of Labor or the County Director of Social Services
Age Certificate: No Provision*

North Dakota

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by Department of Labor
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and over; issued by Labor Department

Ohio

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 at any time, and at ages 16 and 17 during school term (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Not issued
Note: Minors 16 and 17 years of age are required to have proof of age for employment during school vacation. The Superintendent of Schools for the district in which the student lives may approve employment in a seasonal amusement park or recreational establishment without an age certificate.

Oklahoma

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and 17, issued by school

Oregon

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Pennsylvania

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Puerto Rico

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 18 through 21 (on request), issued by Labor Department

*"No provision" indicates that the issuance of an employment or age certificate is unnecessary because another type of certificate covers all minors.

Source: US Department of Labor

More

Rules and Regulations
Alabama through Hawaii
Idaho through Missouri
Rhode Island through Wyoming

Rhode Island

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and 17 (mandated), issued by school

South Carolina

Employment Certificate: No Provision*
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (on request), issued by Labor Department

South Dakota

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Not issued

Tennessee

Employment Certificate: Not issued
Age Certificate: Not issued
Note: The employer of a minor must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age (birth certificate, baptismal certificate, passport, or parent's oath as to the minor's age).

Texas

Employment Certificate: No Provision*
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Labor Department

Utah

Employment Certificate: No Provision*
Age Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (on request), issued by school

Vermont

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 during school hours (mandated), issued by Department of Labor
Age Certificate: Not issued

Virgin Islands

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Labor Department
Age Certificate: No Provision*

Virginia

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and 17 (on request), issued by school

Washington

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Department of Labor
Age Certificate: No Provision*

West Virginia

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 16 (mandated), issued by school
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 16 and 17 (on request), issued by school

Wisconsin

Employment Certificate: Issued to minors under age 18 (mandated), issued by Department of Labor, through permit officers who are school officials and other public officials
Age Certificate: Issued to minors 18 and over (on request), issued by Labor Department, through permit officers

Wyoming

Employment Certificate: Not issued Age Certificate: Not issued Note: the employer of a minor under age 16 must obtain and keep on record proof of the child's age.

*"No provision" indicates that the issuance of an employment or age certificate is unnecessary because another type of certificate covers all minors.

Source: US Department of Labor

More

Rules and Regulations
Alabama through Hawaii
Idaho through Missouri
Montana through Puerto Rico

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