Minors must be at least 14 years of age to be employed in most jobs. The exceptions to this are jobs in agriculture, street trades jobs, such as delivering newspapers, working in school lunch programs, and as golf course caddies. For these jobs, a minor must be at least 12 years of age. In addition, minors at least 12 years old may work in a business owned by their parent as long as it involves doing work that is not prohibited to minors who are older.
Employment considered too hazardous to minors is usually restricted because of the age of the minor or because of the particular equipment used on that job. Restricted employment is categorized into those jobs prohibited to minors under the age of 16 and those prohibited to minors under the age of 18. One of the responsibilities of the work permit officer is to check to see that the job for which the minor is being hired is one that they may legally be allowed to do. Some exceptions of jobs prohibited to minors under the age of 16 would be: working in a factory or anywhere where manufacturing takes place, or operating power machinery. The operation of any machinery, including a power lawn mower or trimmer is prohibited under age 16 when it is done in connection with a business.
A 16 or 17 year old is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle as a part of the job. There are also prohibitions against minors working in adult bookstores or with infectious agents. Minors under 16 are prohibited from working at racetracks where betting is permitted.
Prohibited employment restrictions do not apply to minors who are high school graduates, indentured apprentices, or student learners employed under certain conditions.
Updated March 24, 2003 by the Equal Rights Divisions.