FAQ Friday – How old does a minor have to be to work?

Now that school is almost over teens are beginning to think about summer jobs. Make sure you know what age requirements exist for a particular job before your child applies. icecream_job

Age 14 is listed by the Fair Labor Standards Act as 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 hazardous jobs); and perform babysitting or minor chores around a private home.

Youth Rules! is a website jam-packed with information on what rules and child labor laws exist for Idaho workers between the ages of 14 -18. Produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, the site is designed for teens, parents, educators and employers.

The site features work-related details such as restrictions on hours minors under 16 years old can work and a list of hazardous occupations for both farm and non-farm jobs as identified by the Secretary of Labor as too dangerous for minors to perform.

Other restrictions exist for teen workers as well. For instance, did you know employees 16 or younger may not drive motor vehicles on public roads as part of their jobs? Or that driving by 17-year-olds cannot involve time-sensitive tasks such as pizza deliveries? You can learn more about age restrictions on work-related driving here.

For more information about child labor laws, call or write:

Northern Idaho
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
300 Fifth Ave., Suite 1130
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone (206) 398-8039 or
toll free (866) 487-9243

Southwestern and Eastern Idaho
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
620 SW Main St. Room 423
Portland, Ore.,97205
Phone (503) 326-3057 or
toll free (866) 487-9243