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Minimum age

Fourteen is the minimum age of employment in Minnesota, except as:

  • a newspaper carrier (at least 11 years of age);

  • in agriculture (at least 12 years of age and with parental/guardian consent);

  • an actor, actress or model; or

  • a youth athletic program referee (at least 11 years of age and with parental or guardian consent).

Age and hours of work

Workers under the age of 16 may not work

A minor less than 16 years of age may not work:

  • before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.* with the exception of a newspaper carrier;

  • more than 40 hours a week or more than eight hours in a 24-hour period*, except in agriculture;

  • on school days during school hours, unless an employment certificate has been issued by the school district superintendent (see Minnesota Statutes 181A.05) and the worker is allowed to work during school hours under federal law.

*During the school year, federal law restricts hours worked to no later than 7 p.m., no more than three hours a day and not more than 18 hours in a week.

Workers age 16 or 17

By state law, 16- and 17-year old high school students may not work after 11 p.m. on evenings before school days or before 5 a.m. on school days. With written permission from a parent or guardian, these hours may be expanded to 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. No other limit is set for the hours that 16- and 17-year-olds can work. High school graduates who are 17 years old do not have work hour restrictions.

State and federal child labor laws

Employers are generally subject to both state child labor laws and the federal child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Certain Minnesota child labor laws are more protective than federal law and vice versa. Employers covered by both Minnesota child labor laws and the federal FLSA must follow the most protective provisions that apply to their employees. Visit for more information about federal child labor law.

For more information

Contact us at, 651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354.