How Old Do You Have to Be to Work Legally?


Quick Answer

According to the Department of Labor, legal age of employment varies depending on the type of job and the hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the minimum age of employment for most non-agricultural jobs at 14. States set their own labor laws, which may differ from national regulations.

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Full Answer

The Department of Labor reports that before age 16, youth can only work during non-school hours for a maximum of 40 hours per week. They are also not permitted to work in hazardous professions. Youth between the ages of 16 and 18 can work unlimited hours, but they are still not permitted to work in hazardous professions.

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