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More Than a Number: Know Your State’s Legal Age to Work

Many businesses rely on younger employees. These workers, often teenagers, fill a variety of key roles while building essential skills as they join the workforce. But businesses should be aware of both the FSLA (Fair Labor Standards Act) rules and their state’s laws whenever employing people under 18 years old.

Here are some highlights:

  • In general, for non-agricultural jobs, the minimum work age is 14, and states have restrictions on the number of hours and times teens can work.
  • If there is a conflict between a state rule and the FSLA, the stricter rule applies.
  • The FLSA does not apply to actors in motion picture, TV, or theatre productions, newspaper delivery to consumers, or home-based crafting of wreaths.
  • Any job deemed hazardous cannot be performed by anyone under the age of 18. These include many manufacturing and construction jobs.
  • Many state and local rules require a work permit for younger workers.

The table below summarizes state rules for minors age 14-16. In general, minors 16-18 years old have no restriction in the number of hours they can work, but cannot work hazardous jobs. Always check your state and local rules to get details and any updates.

Legal Age to Work Regulations for Each State

STATEHOURS (age 14- 16)OTHER RULES
AlabamaMaximum of 18 hours/week when school is in session. Up to 40 hours/ week (8 hours/day) at other times.Cannot work between from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. during school days. 
AlaskaMaximum of 23 hours/week during school.Cannot work from 9 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Arizona Maximum of 18 hours/week when school is in session.Cannot work 9:30 p.m. (11 p.m. before non-school day) to 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for door-to-door sales or deliveries.  
ArkansasMaximum of 18 hours/week when school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. before non-school day) to 6 a.m.  
CaliforniaMaximum of 18 hours/week when school is in session. Up to 40 hours/ week (8 hours/day) other times.Cannot work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day)
ConnecticutCan work 8 hours a day/40 hours a week.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. July 1 to the first Monday in September) to 7 a.m.  
DelawareMaximum of 18 hours/week during school year.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
FloridaCan only work 3 hours/day when followed by a school day unless enrolled in a vocational program. 40 hours a week during a non-school day/week.Cannot work 7 p.m. before school day to 7 a.m. on school day (9 p.m. during holidays and summer vacations to 7 a.m.)  
GeorgiaCan work a maximum of 4 hours/day during school. 40 hours a week during a non-school day/week.Cannot work 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
HawaiiMaximum of 18 hours/week (3 hours/day) during school year.Cannot work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (9 p.m. to 6 a.m. during authorized school breaks).  
IdahoCan work up to 9 hours a day for a maximum of 54 hours/week.Cannot work 9 p.m. 6 a.m.
IllinoisCan work 8 hours a day for a maximum of 24 hours during school times.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day, except when school is in session) to 7 a.m.  
Iowa  Maximum of 4 hours/day and 28 /week. 8 hours/day and 40/week in a week when school is not in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
KentuckyMaximum of 3 hours/day and 18 hours/week when school is in session. Can work 8 hours a day on non-school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
LouisianaMaximum of 3 hours/day and 18 hours a week when school is in session. Can work 8 hours a day on non-school daysCannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
MaineMaximum of 3 hours/day and 18 hours a week when school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during summer vacation) to 7 a.m.  
Massachusetts  Maximum hours when School is in session: 18 hours a week3 hours a day on school days8 hours a day Saturday, Sunday, holidays6 days a week  Only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. during the summer (from July 1 through Labor Day).   After 8:00 p.m., all minors must have the direct and immediate supervision of an adult supervisor who is located in the workplace and is reasonably accessible to the minor, unless the minor works at a kiosk, cart or stand in the common area of an enclosed shopping mall that has security from 8:00 p.m.  
MichiganCan work a combined total of 48 hours of work and schoolCannot work between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.  
Minnesota8 hours/day and 40 hours/weekCannot work between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.  
Mississippi8 hours/day up to 44 hours/week in a factory, mill, cannery or workshop.Cannot work between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.  
Missouri3 hours/day on school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day and 10:30 p.m. at regional Fairs or expositions) to 7 a.m.  
Montana3 hours/day and 18 hours/week when school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during periods outside the school year) to 7 a.m.  
Nebraska8 hours/day and 48 per week.Under 14: cannot work 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Age 14 & 15: 10 p.m. (beyond 10 p.m. before non-school day with special permit) to 6 a.m.  
Nevada8 hours/day and 48 per week. 
New Hampshire8 hours/day on non-school day, 48-hour week during vacation, if enrolled in school. School day/week: 3-23 if enrolled in school.  Cannot work 9 p.m. 7 a.m.
New JerseyUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from last day of school through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.
New YorkUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
New MexicoUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
North CarolinaUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
North DakotaUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session unless exempted from school attendance.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
OhioUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 1 and during school holidays of 5 school days or more) to 7 a.m., 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in door-to-door sales.  
Oklahoma      Up to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session. 8-hour maximum on non-school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
OregonUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session. 8-hour maximum on non-school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 21 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
PennsylvaniaUp to 18 hours week (4 hours/day) while school is in session. 8-hour maximum on non-school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (10 p.m. during vacation from June to Labor Day) to 7 a.m.
Rhode IslandUp 8 hours/day and 40 hours/week.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during school vacation) to 6 a.m.  
South CarolinaUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session. 8-hour maximum on non-school days.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during summer break of the school district in which the minor resides) to 7 a.m.  
South DakotaUp to 20 hours a week (4 hours/day)Cannot work after 10 p.m. on day before school day.
TennesseeUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (9 p.m. to 6 a.m. before non-school days)  
Texas8 hours/day up and 48 hours/weekCannot work 10 p.m. (midnight before non-school day or in summer if not enrolled in summer school) to 5 a.m.  
UtahMaximum of 4 hours/day during school days.Cannot work 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. before school day.  
VermontUp to 18 hours/week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
VirginiaUp to 18 hours/week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
WashingtonUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day) to 7 a.m. An adult must supervise minors working after 8 p.m. in service occupations, such as restaurants and retail businesses.  
  WisconsinUp to 18 hours week (3 hours/day) while school is in session.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day) to 7 a.m.  
WyomingNo restrictionsCannot work 10 p.m. (midnight before non-school day and for minors not enrolled in school) to 5 a.m.  
D.C.8 hours/day and 48 hours/week.Cannot work 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day) to 7 a.m.

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