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Employment Restrictions for 14- & 15-Year-Olds

According to the American Society of Safety Engineers, the federal youth employment provisions limit the times of day, number of hours, and industries and occupations in which 14- and 15-year-olds may be employed.

Hours Standards
Child labor regulations limit the hours and the times of day that 14- and 15-year-olds may work to:

  • outside school hours;
  • no more than 3 hours on a school day, including Fridays;
  • no more than 8 hours on a non-school day;
  • no more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session;
  • no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session;
  • between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except between June 1 and Labor Day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.

Permitted Occupations

  • 14- and 15-year-olds may work in most office jobs and retail and food service establishments, but may not work in processing, mining, or in any workroom or workplace where goods are manufactured and processed.
  • Such youth also are prohibited from working in any occupations that involve transportation, construction, warehousing, communications, and public utilities.
  • 14- and 15-year-olds may not operate most power-driven machinery, including lawn mowers, lawn trimmers, and weed cutters. Such youth may operate most office machines and certain equipment found in food service establishments such as dishwashers, toasters, dumbwaiters, popcorn poppers, milk shake blenders, and coffee grinders.
  • They may be employed in occupations such as bagging groceries, office work, stocking shelves and cashiering, and may cook with electric and gas grills that do not involve open flames and deep-fat fryers that are equipped with and use devices which automatically raise and lower the baskets into and out of the oil or grease. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may not bake as part of their employment.

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