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

What kinds of work can youth perform?

Regulations governing youth employment in non-agricultural jobs differ somewhat from those pertaining to agricultural employment. In non-agricultural work, the permissible jobs, by age, are as follows:

  1. Workers 18 years or older may perform any job, whether hazardous or not;
  2. Workers 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous jobs; and
  3. Workers 14 and 15 years old may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs

Fourteen is the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or on hazardous jobs); perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home. Also, at any age, youth may be employed as homeworkers to gather evergreens and make evergreen wreaths.

Different age requirements apply to the employment of youth in agriculture.