The Wage and Hour Division prioritizes protections for young workers. Employers are responsible for providing youths with a safe working environment and paying wages required under federal law. Young workers have the right to work where they are not at risk of workplace injury and where employers make safeguarding their safety and health a priority. The resources on this website will help you, the employer, understand if and how you can employ minors at your company. You can use this information to better identify work that is safe and that does not jeopardize minors’ health, well-being, or educational opportunities. Knowing the federal and state rules regarding young workers will enable you to employ minors in lawful work activities, and help ensure that they have safe and rewarding work experiences.

There are restrictions on what you can and cannot require of young workers. Minors are limited in the types of jobs and number of hours that they can work. The rules vary by age, and the requirements may be different if they work in agriculture. States may have their own set of rules that you must follow. This site can help you find the answers about the various workplace rules for minors.

Agricultural Jobs

Does the teenager want to work on a ranch or farm, or do some other agricultural job? Does harvesting blueberries, cutting hay, herding cattle, or being a farmhand interest the child? If so, check the dos and don’ts of working in agriculture while the child is under the age of 18.

Non-Agricultural Jobs

Does the teenager want to wait tables at a restaurant? Bag groceries at the local supermarket? What about a summer job working with a construction contractor? Before the teenager starts a job, please check whether the teenager can work at that job while under the age of 18.

Young Worker Toolkit