The Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act restricts the age, days and hours, and occupations of working minors. Minn. Stat. §§ 181A.01 to 181A.12. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry may grant exemptions from these restrictions if the commissioner finds that the exemption is in the minor’s best interests. Minn. Stat. § 181A.07, subd. 5. Employment of minors also is governed by federal law which may differ from the Minnesota law described here.
No minor under the age of 14 may be employed, except: (1) a minor may be an actor, performer, or model; (2) those 11 and older may be newspaper carriers; (3) those between the ages of 11 and 14 may be employed as a youth athletic program referee, umpire, or official for an age bracket younger than the minor’s own age; and (4) those 12 and older may work in agricultural operations. Minn. Stat. §§ 181A.04, subd. 1; 181A.07, subds. 1, 2, 3, and 4a
Day and Hour Restrictions
On school days during school hours, no minor under 16 years may be employed except with a valid employment certificate. Minn. Stat. §§ 181A.04, subd. 2; 181A.05
No minor under 16 may work any day before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. except as a newspaper carrier. Minn. Stat. §§ 181A.04, subd. 3; 181A.07, subd. 3
No one may employ a minor under 16 more than 40 hours per week or more than eight hours in any 24-hour period, except for minors working in agricultural operations with their parents’ or guardian’s permission. Minn. Stat. §§ 181A.04, subd. 4; 181A.07, subd. 1
No one may employ a high school student under age 18 after 11:00 p.m. on a school night or before 5:00 a.m. on a school day. With written permission of a parent or guardian, a student may work one-half hour later or begin one half-hour earlier. Minn. Stat. § 181A.04, subd. 6
All minors may be excluded from employment in any occupation that the Commissioner of Labor and Industry finds by rule hazardous to their well-being. Minn. Stat. § 181A.04, subd. 5. The commissioner also has the power to exempt an individual minor from this restriction. Minn. Stat. § 181A.07, subd. 5
Minors under age 18 are prohibited from employment in any rooms in which intoxicating liquor or 3.2 percent malt liquor is served or consumed or in any tasks that involve serving, dispensing, or handling of those liquors that are consumed on the premises except under the following conditions:
- a minor at least 16 years of age can be employed to perform busing, dishwashing, or hosting services in areas of restaurants, hotels, motels, or resorts where the presence of intoxicating liquor is incidental to food service or preparation
- a minor at least 16 years of age can be employed to perform busing, dishwashing, or hosting services or to provide waiter or waitress service in rooms or areas where the presence of 3.2 percent malt liquor is incidental to food service or preparation
- a minor at least 16 years of age can be employed to provide musical entertainment in those rooms or areas where the presence of intoxicating liquor and 3.2 percent malt liquor is incidental to food service or preparation.
Minors are not prevented from working at tasks not prohibited by law in establishments where liquor is sold, served, dispensed, or handled in those rooms or areas where no liquor is consumed or served. Minn. Stat. § 181A.115
Child Labor Exemptions. Minors employed to do home chores, babysitting, or by their parents are exempt from the above child labor restrictions. Minn. Stat. § 181A.07, subd. 4
Federal law provides that minors under age 16, working in particularly hazardous agricultural work for their parents, are exempt only if they work on a farm owned or operated by the parent. 29 U.S.C. § 213(c)(2); Minn. Stat. § 181A.11