Youth Working Rights and Requirements: Wages, Ages and Breaks

What Jobs may youths legally do?  What are the standards are what are their rights?  There is a Federal law, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)  and some separate state laws that define youth labor requirements and conditions.  

Jobs Youth Can Do:

13 or younger: baby-sit, deliver newspapers, or work as an actor or performer
Ages 14-15: office work, grocery store, retail store, restaurant, movie theater, or amusement park
Age 16-17: Any job not declared hazardous
Age 18: No restrictions

Hours Youth Ages 14 and 15 Can Work:

After 7 am and until 7 pm
(Hours are extended to 9 pm June 1Labor Day)
Up to 3 hours on a school day
Up to 18 hours in a school week
Up to 8 hours on a non-school day
Up to 40 hours in a non-school week


  1. Different rules apply to youth employed in agriculture.
  2. States also regulate the hours that youth under age 18 may work.

Enforcement, Compliance and Assistance

Contact the Wage-Hour Division to report a potential FLSA violation, at:

OSHA also has requirements and conditions to protect the safety of youths in the workplace

For your State's Information:


This page was updated on 30-Mar-2016