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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor

When and how many hours can youth work?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural employment is 14. Hours worked by 14- and 15-year-olds are limited to:

  • Non-school hours;
  • 3 hours in a school day;
  • 18 hours in a school week;
  • 8 hours on a non-school day;
  • 40 hours on a non-school week; and
  • hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.)

Youth 14 and 15 years old enrolled in an approved Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP) may be employed for up to 23 hours in school weeks and 3 hours on school days (including during school hours).

The FLSA does not limit the number of hours or times of day for workers 16 years and older.

Many states have enacted child labor laws as well. In situations where both the FLSA child labor provisions and state child labor laws apply, the higher minimum standard must be obeyed.