The federal child labor provisions, authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the work is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities.


girl working at a food truck

What hours can 14- and 15-year-olds work?

  • Outside of school hours, up to 3 hours on a school day, including Friday
  • After 7:00am
  • Before 7:00pm, except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they can work as late as 9:00pm
  • Up to 18 hours per week when school is in session
  • Up to 8 hours per day when school is not in session
  • Up to 40 hours per week when school is not in session

Download our DOL-Timesheet App for a quick and easy way to track your hours.

young lifeguard workers at a pool

What occupations are prohibited for 14- and 15-year-Olds?

  • Manufacturing and mining
  • Most processing occupations
  • Operating power-driven equipment
  • Transportation and communications
  • Construction
  • All baking and most cooking
  • Maintenance or repair of a building or equipment
  • Work in freezers and meat coolers
  • Work involving power-drive food slicers, grinders, choppers, and mixers
  • Loading and unloading goods to and from trucks or conveyors
girl stocking produce

What occupations are prohibited for all minors?

  • Driving or outside motor vehicle helper
  • Power-driven woodworking machines*
  • Power-driven hoisting apparatus, including forklifts
  • Power-driven metal-forming and punching machines*
  • Power-driven meat processing machines*
  • Power-driven bakery machines
  • Power-driven balers and compactors*
  • Power-driven saws and other cutting machines*
  • Roofing*
  • Excavation*
*These hazardous occupations provide limited exemptions for 16- and 17-year-olds who are bona-fide student-learners and apprentices.
cheerful young guy greeting at retail

Most Common Industries for Child Labor Violations

  • Amusement/Recreation
  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Food Service
young restaurant workers

Most Common Child Labor Violations

  • Hours worked for 14- and 15-year-olds
  • Occupations for 14- and 15-year-olds
  • Hazardous occupations for 16- and 17-year-olds
  • Under legal age of employment