Child labor laws in the United States include paying at least the youth minimum wage and not employing children under age 14 for most non-agricultural jobs, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act governs most federal work-related youth laws, but states may set additional labor laws.
In non-farm jobs, kids under age 16 are limited to three hours of work on a school day or eight hours on a non-school day and 18 hours during a school week or 40 hours during a non-school week, reports the U.S. Department of Labor. Jobs cannot take place during school hours, cannot start before 7 a.m. and must end by 9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day or by 7 p.m. the rest of the year. Children of any age can babysit, perform chores, deliver newspapers, act or work in non-hazardous businesses owned by their parents.
With the exception of school hours, agricultural workers do not operate under hour or time restrictions, states the U.S. Department of Labor. Children under 12 can work in non-hazardous jobs with parental consent. Twelve- and 13-year-olds can perform non-hazardous jobs with parental consent or on a farm where a parent works. Children aged 14 and 15 can work in any non-hazardous agricultural position, while people older than 15 have no restrictions.