Time to limit work hours for teens as the school year begins

Federal, state laws restrict schedules for workers under age 18

Posted September 6, 2016

With the start of the school year upon us, many employers will be adjusting schedules to meet work-hour requirements for teens.

Under federal regulations, 14- and 15- year-olds have restrictions for working hours during school.

The regulations state 14- and 15- year-olds may not be employed:

  • During school hours, except as provided in Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs and Work-Study Programs.
  • 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. (time is based on local standards; i.e., whether the locality has adopted daylight savings time).
  • More than 3 hours a day on a school day, including Fridays.
  • More than 8 hours a day on a nonschool day.
  • More than 18 hours a week during a school week.
  • More than 40 hours a week during nonschool weeks.

While there are not work-hour restrictions under the federal law for 16- and 17- year-olds, many states do have limitations. Employers should check their state laws for any restrictions.

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