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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Labor Standards -- Frequently asked questions about child labor

Frequently asked questions graphicMy child wants to get a job. How old must he or she be to work?
In most cases, no one younger than the age of 14 may be employed. However, there are certain exceptions, including newspaper carrier, actor, actress and model. (See Minnesota Statutes 181A.04 and 181.07.)

How late can my 15-year-old child work?
Children younger than the age of 16 (ages 14 and 15) cannot work before 7 a.m., after 9 p.m., more than 40 hours a week or more than eight hours a day. After they reach age 16, they cannot work beyond 11 p.m. on nights before school or before 5 a.m. on school days. Federal law is more restrictive for children under the age of 16. (See Minnesota Statutes 181A.04.)

Can I hire the 14-year-old neighbor kid to mow my lawn?
Yes, chores commonly done around the home are considered home chores and are exempt from coverage of the child labor laws. However, firms or companies that are hiring individuals to do similar jobs around their company may not hire a 14-year-old to mow the lawn. Minors younger than 16 cannot use power-driven lawn equipment, such as lawn mowers, weed whips or hedge trimmers. (See Minnesota Statutes 181A.07, subd. 4 for home chores exception; see Minnesota Rules 5200.0910 and 5200.0920 for all prohibited occupations.)

For more information

Visit DLI's teen workers pages

If you don't see your question answered here or want more information about any of these subjects, contact the Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards unit, at dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us, (651) 284-5070 or
1-800-DIAL-DLI (1-800-342-5354).

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