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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Youth & Labor

Nonagricultural Employment

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets wage, hours worked, and safety requirements for minors (individuals under age 18) working in jobs covered by the statute. The rules vary depending upon the particular age of the minor and the particular job involved. As a general rule, the FLSA sets 14 years of age as the minimum age for employment, and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16.

Also, the FLSA generally prohibits the employment of a minor in work declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor (for example, 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) and many exceptions to the general rules (for example, work by a minor for his or her parents). Each state also has its own laws relating to employment, including the employment of minors. If state law and the FLSA overlap, the law which is more protective of the minor will apply.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

What Hours Can 14- and 15-Year-old Youth Work?
Specific information on permissible work hours for minor employees.

How Many Hours Can Young Workers Work?
Additional information on work hours.

How Many Hours Per Day Or Per Week Can An 16- and 17-Year-olds Work?
Additional information on work hours.

Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP)
Offers exceptions to the child labor regulations that permit 14- and 15-year-olds to be employed in otherwise prohibited circumstances. WECEP is designed to provide a carefully planned work experience and career exploration program for students who can benefit from a career-oriented education.

Exemptions from Child Labor Rules in Non-Agriculture
Lists many of the exemptions provided for by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

elaws Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Advisor — Child Labor Rules
This Advisor answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA's child labor rules.

Selected State Child Labor Standards Affecting Minors Under 18 in Non-Farm Employment
A chart listing state-by-state non-farm employment rules for young workers.

State Labor Offices/State Laws
Information on state minimum wage rates and other state child labor topics.

State Departments of Labor Web Sites
Links to state departments of labor Web sites and contact information for each department.

Laws & Regulations on This Topic

Regulations
29 CFR §570.2
Minimum Age Standards for Nonagricultural Employment

29 CFR §570.34
Regulation on Occupations in Retail, Food Service, and Gasoline Establishments