Guidelines for Hiring Minors Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

If students under age 18 are hired, the Fair Labor Standards Act restricts the type of work they can perform. Several guidelines follow.

Ages 16 and 17

This age group may work at any time for unlimited hours in all jobs declared not hazardous. Hazardous occupations include operating motor vehicles; working with radioactive and explosive material; operating certain power-driven woodworking (such as circular and band saws), metal working and bakery machinery; operating various types of power-driven hoisting apparatus, such as non-automatic elevators, forklifts and cranes.

Ages 14 and 15

This age group may work in various jobs outside school hours under the following conditions:

    No more than three hours on a school day, with a limit of 18 hours in a school week

    No more than eight hours on a non-school day, with a limit of 40 hours in a non-school week

    Not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. except from June 1 through Labor Day, when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.

    In addition, 14 and 15 year-old workers are limited to a maximum of 3 hours of work on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day and 18 hours in a school week and 40 hours in a non-school week. A school week is any week, Monday through Sunday, in which school attendance is required for any part of four or more days.

They may be employed in many jobs, such as office work; food service jobs, including cashiering, waiting and busing tables; errand and delivery work by foot, bicycle and public transportation; and most cleanup work.

In addition to the previously stated hazardous occupations, they may not cook, bake, grill or fry; operate or tend most power-driven machinery, such as mowers, hoisting or lifting apparatus, pits, racks, tire repair equipment, perform work connected with warehousing, storage, loading/unloading, construction and security.

In Agriculture,  hazardous occupations include: cultivation and tillage of soil; dairying; production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of agricultural or horticultural commodities; raising of livestock and any practices performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction with such farming operations including delivery to storage or to carriers for transportation.

Teens may be exempt from some or all of the state youth employment rules under certain conditions:

    They are exempt from the minimum age (14) and from the need for a work permit if they work for and under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian and if that person is 100 percent owner of the business.

    They are exempt from the restricted hours and the need for a work permit if they are exempt from compulsory school attendance because they have completed the requirements for graduation, because they are needed to help financially support their family, or because they cannot be taught in a mainstream classroom due to a disability.

    They are exempt from the minimum age, restricted hours, and the need for a work permit if they work in domestic service (performing services of a household nature in or about the employer's private home).

    They are exempt from all youth employment provisions if they work in agricultural employment.

Babysitting in domestic service does not constitute employment unless it involves 20 or more hours of work for 3 or more consecutive weeks.

Under age 14

May not work for NDSU.

Verification of Age

Require 14 and 15 year-old workers to file an Employment and Age Certificate with the Department of Labor. This form is commonly referred to as a "work permit" and contains sections to be completed by the worker, the worker's parent or guardian, and the employer. It is specific to each job held and a new certificate must be filed when a 14 or 15 year-old worker changes jobs. Forms are available from the Department of Labor's office and web site. Job Service North Dakota offices and County School Superintendents' offices may also have a supply.

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