Work Hours for Teens Longer During the Summer Months

Work Hours for Teens Longer During the Summer Months

South Dakota Retailers Association

How many hours can your employees work, and what types of jobs can they perform? It depends on their age.

Generally, a business cannot hire workers until they reach the age of 14. Under federal law, there are only a very few exceptions.

If a worker is age 14 or 15, there are restrictions on the hours they can work. Those hours are longer over the summer months, from June 1 through Labor Day. There are also restrictions on the types of work an employee can perform if they are 14 or 15.

Allowable Hours Under Federal Law

Under the federal child labor laws, in nonagricultural occupations, the permissible jobs and hours of work, by age, are as follows:

Youths 14 and 15 years old may work outside of school hours in non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs under the following conditions:

  • Up to 3 hours on a school day;
  • Up to 18 hours in a school week;
  • Up to 8 hours on a non-school day;
  • Up to 40 hours in a non-school week.

Under federal law, 14- and 15-year-olds can only work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when the work they perform can take place between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Youths 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous job, for unlimited hours.

Youths 18 years or older may perform any job, whether hazardous or not, for unlimited hours.

For a fact sheet on federal child labor laws, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website at

Visit the U.S. Department of Labor Youth Rules website at

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