Discrimination on the Job

questions & answers

Question: How old do you have to be to get a job


The child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are designed to protect the educational opportunities of youths and to prohibit their employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to their health and wellbeing. The permissible jobs and hours of work, by age, in nonfarm work are as follows:


·          Ages 18 or older are not subject to restrictions on jobs or hours

·          Ages 16 and 17 may perform any job not declared hazardous and are not subject to restrictions on hours.

·          Ages 14 and 15 may work outside school hours in various nonmanufacturing, non-mining, nonhazardous if they work (1) outside school hours, (2) no more than 3 hours on a school day , including Fridays, (3) no more than 8 hours on a nonschool day (4) no more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session, (5) no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session, (6) 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.  


Those enrolled in an approved Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP) may work up to 23 hours in school weeks and three hours on school days (including during school hours).



 All states also have standards concerning youth employment. When federal and state standards are different, the rules that provide the most protection to young workers will apply.


When You Are 13 Or Younger . . .
You can

·          deliver newspapers.

·          work as a baby-sitter.

·          work as an actor or performer in motion pictures, television, theater or radio.

·          work in a business solely owned or operated by your parents.

·          work on a farm owned or operated by your parents.


However, parents are prohibited from employing their children in manufacturing, mining, or any other occupation declared by the Secretary of Labor.

When You Turn 14 . . .
You also can work in an:

·          office,

·          grocery store,

·          retail store,

·          restaurant,

·          movie theater,

·          baseball park,

·          amusement park, or

·          gasoline service station.

You generally may not work in:

·          communications or public utilities jobs,

·          construction or repair jobs,

·          driving a motor vehicle or helping a driver,

·          manufacturing and mining occupations,

·          power-driven machinery or hoisting apparatus other than typical office machines,

·          processing occupations,

·          public messenger jobs,

·          transporting of persons or property,

·          workrooms where products are manufactured, mined or processed, or

·          warehousing and storage.


When You Turn 16 . . .
You can work in any job or occupation that has not been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. 

You generally may not work in any of the following hazardous occupations:

·          manufacturing and storing of explosives,

·          driving a motor vehicle and being an outside helper on a motor vehicle;

·          coal mining,

·          logging and sawmilling,

·          power-driven woodworking machines,

·          exposure to radioactive substances,

·          power-driven hoisting apparatus,

·          power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines,

·          mining, other than coal mining,

·          meat packing or processing (including the use of power-driven meat slicing machines),

·          power-driven bakery machines,

·          power-driven paper-product machines,

·          manufacturing brick, tile, and related products,

·          power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears,

·          wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations,

·          roofing operations and all work on or about a roof, or

·          excavation operations.

There are some exemptions for apprentice/student-learner programs in some of these hazardous occupations.

When You Turn 18 . . .
You can work any job for any number of hours. The child labor rules no longer apply to you.


  • How old do you have to be to get a job




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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