Child Labor Laws

When and where are teens allowed to work?

Early work experiences can be rewarding for young workers, providing great opportunities to learn important skills. However, the jobs that teens are hired to do should not jeopardize their health or well-being.

Under the leadership of Secretary Elaine L. Chao, the U.S. Department of Labor launched the YouthRules! initiative. This initiative promotes positive and safe work experiences for young workers by educating parents, teens, employers, and educators about the types of jobs teens can hold and the number of hours they can work. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Youth Rules web site at

14- and 15-Year-Olds Can Work:

Outside school hours
After 7 a.m. and until 7 p.m. (hours are extended to 9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day)
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

Jobs Teens Can Perform

Teens 13 or younger can baby-sit, deliver newspapers, or work as an actor or performer.

14- and 15-year-olds may work in a variety of jobs including those located in offices, grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, amusement parks, baseball parks or gasoline service stations. However, they are prohibited from working in jobs declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

16- and 17-year-olds can work in any job that hasn’t been declared hazardous. There are 17 hazardous jobs young workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from doing. Some of these jobs include mining, meat packing or processing, using power-driven bakery machines or paper-product machines, roofing, and excavation operations. Most driving is also prohibited.

Once a youth reaches 18 years of age, he or she is no longer subject to the Federal youth employment laws. Different rules apply to youth employed in agriculture. States may also have different laws. For more information about this initiative, including what jobs are considered hazardous, visit or call the Department’s toll-free number at 1-866-4USWAGE.

Are there special labor laws for children in Idaho?

Idaho Child Labor Laws are found under Idaho Code §44-1301 through §44-1308. These codes can be viewed HERE.