Alabama Child Labor Laws


Alabama child labor laws regulate the employment of youth in the state of Alabama. These laws dictate the ages and the times as well as the types of work they may perform. Generally, speaking children 13 years old or younger may not work in Alabama, except in some limited situations. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may work in a broader range of jobs, but are significantly limited in the number of hours per day and per week they may work, especially when school is in session. Youth who are 16 and 17 years old may work in a broad range jobs, but cannot work in those jobs that have been explicitly deemed to be too hazardous. In order to employ minors, employer must obtain a Child Labor Certificate from the Alabama Department of Labor. Moreover, employers must obtain and keep on file an Eligibility to Work Form for any 14 or 15 year old child it employs. The details of Alabama child labor laws are discussed below.




13 years old and younger

Alabama child labor laws specifically prohibit children 13 years of age and younger from working in any trade or occupation performed in a street or public place, such as distributing or selling newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or candy. This prohibition does not apply in situations where youth under 14 years old perform the work for educational, charitable, religious, scientific, historical, literary, or nonprofit organizations, and where no true employer-employee relationship exists or where the services are performed on a voluntary basis. AL Code 25-8-39 Minors who are found to be working in violation of this restriction on working in streets or public places may be arrested on juvenile delinquency charges. AL Code 25-8-42



14 and 15 year olds

Alabama child labor laws have provisions specifically directed to 14 and 15 year olds, including restrictions on what times during a day 14 and 15 year olds may work, how many hours in a week they many work, and what jobs or occupations they may perform. For more information, visit our Alabama Child Labor laws – 14 and 15 year olds page.



16 and 17 year olds

Alabama child labor laws have provisions specifically directed to 16 and 17 year olds, including restrictions on what times during a day 16 and 17 year olds may work, how many hours in a week they many work, and what jobs or occupations they may perform. For more information, visit our Alabama Child Labor laws – 16 and 17 year olds page.



Child actors and performers

Alabama child labor laws permit youth under 18 years of age to work and appear for the purpose of singing, acting, or performing in any production approved and coordinated by the Alabama Film Office in conjunction with and under the jurisdiction and supervision of the Alabama Department of Labor. The Alabama Department of Labor will establish time and hour restrictions for youth under 18 years of age. For purposes of this provision, a production includes, but is not limited to, motion pictures, documentaries, and reality television films.

A youth under 18 years of age may be employed as a child actor or performer only if the following conditions are met:

  • the Alabama Film Office, the Alabama Department of Labor, and the parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult of the youth has given written consent
  • the activities to be performed are not detrimental to the life, health, safety, welfare, or morals of the youth
  • the activities to be performed do not interfere with the youth’s schooling and arrangements are made for the education equivalent of full-time school attendance in the public schools for persons under 16 years of age
  • a parent, guardian, or a responsible adult so designated by the parent or guardian, accompanies each youth under 16 years of age at all rehearsals, appearances, and performances

AL Code 25-8-60



Child models

Alabama child labor laws have specific provisions for child models. The Alabama Department of Labor is responsible for setting any time and hour restrictions for youth under 18 years of age who are employed as models. However, no youth under 16 years of age may work any hours that interfere with his or her school performance.

An employer that employs youth under 18 years of age to be used in any type of modeling must meet the following conditions:

  • have written consent from the parent or guardian of the youth
  • notify the Child Labor Division of the Alabama Department of Labor that the youth will be employed as a model on a form authorized by the department
  • the parent of the youth do not let the modeling interfere with that person’s school performance
  • the activities to be performed by the youth are not be detrimental to the life, health, safety, welfare, or morals of the person
  • a parent, guardian, or a responsible adult so designated by the parent or guardian accompanies each youth under 16 years of age to all sessions

AL Code 25-8-60



Adult entertainment establishments

Alabama child labor laws prohibit adult entertainment establishment to employ youth under the age of 18 year old. Adult entertainment establishments include, but are not limited to, adult live entertainment businesses, adult arcades, adult bookstores, adult cabarets, adult movie theaters, adult toy stores, adult video stores, body shampooing businesses, escort agencies, massage parlors, nude model studios, lingerie modeling studios, or any combination of the foregoing. AL Code 25-8-61



Meal and breaks

Alabama child labor laws require employer to provide youth who are 14 or 15 years old a rest or meal break of at least 30 minutes when the youth is employed for more than five continuous hours. Rest or meal breaks that are less than 30 are not sufficient to interrupt a period of five continuous hours of work. Employers are not required to pay the youth for the time they take for their required rest or meal break. AL Code 25-8-38(e)

Employers are not required to provide rest or meal breaks to youth who are 16 or 17 years old.



Working conditions

Alabama child labor laws require employers to provide youth the following working conditions:

  • an establishment that is sanitary and properly ventilated
  • indoor restrooms except in situations where it is impracticable
  • suitable and convenient restrooms, separate for each sex, and in the number and locations required by the Alabama Department of Labor
  • when employing 20 or more individuals, sanitary drinking fountains in the number required by the Alabama Department of Labor

AL Code 25-8-54

The Alabama Department of Labor may inspect business establishments where youth are employed to ensure they comply with the working condition requirements of the Alabama child labor laws. They will issue written orders for the correction of any unsanitary or unhealthy conditions and will report the conditions to public health officials. AL Code 25-8-55



Required posting

Employers who employ youth under the age of 18 must post a notice regarding Alabama child labor laws in a conspicuous place. The notice must state the maximum number of hours children under 18 may legally work. The Alabama Department of Labor provides a copy of its child labor law notice. AL Code 25-8-38(a)

Additionally, employers must post their Child Labor Certificate, obtained from the Alabama Department of Labor, in a public and conspicuous location at all times. AL Code 25-8-38(f)



Employer recordkeeping requirements

Alabama child labor laws require employers to keep on file a completed Employee Information Form and proof of age for each youth employed by the employer. Additionally, employer must keep electronic or photostatic copies of time records for the one year preceding the last day of the last work period recorded for each youth employed by the employer. The time records must contain the following:

  • the number of hours worked each day
  • starting and ending times
  • break times

AL Code 25-8-38(b)

Employers may use the Employee Information Form provided by the Alabama Department of Labor. However, they are not required to do so. If an employer does not use the form provided by the Alabama Department of Labor, they must collect and retain the following information from each employed youth:

  • name
  • home address
  • telephone number
  • date of hire
  • school of attendance

AL Code 25-8-38(c)

Valid forms of proof of age include:

  • a copy of a birth certificate
  • a copy of a driver’s license
  • a copy of an identification card issued by a federal, state, or local government that contains the youth’s name and date of birth

AL Code 25-8-38(d)



Right of access

The Alabama Department of Labor has the right to enter any business without prior notice or warrant for the purposes of routine inspections and may perform the inspections as frequently as necessary to ensure the employer is complying with Alabama child labor laws. AL Code 25-8-52 School attendance officers have the same right of access as the Alabama Department of Labor. AL Code 25-8-53



Whistleblowers and retaliation

Employers may not discriminate against any individual, adult or youth, because they have opposed the employer’s unlawful child labor practices or because the individual filed a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to child labor law violations. Additionally, Alabama child labor laws prohibit employers from discharging or otherwise disciplining, threatening, harassing, blacklisting, or in any other manner discriminating against an applicant, employee, former employee, or any other person because that individual disclosed information that was otherwise not prohibited from disclosure by law, refused to obey an illegal order, or challenged or revealed any child labor law violation in any other manner not prohibited by law. AL Code 25-8-57



Penalties

Employers who violate Alabama’s child labor laws may be subject to a civil penalty of $300 or $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the provision of law the employer violated. The Alabama Department of Labor may assess a separate penalty for each individual youth affected by the employers unlawful actions. Additionally, the Alabama Department of Labor may assess more than one penalty for each affect youth if multiple provisions of the child labor laws were violated. AL Code 25-8-59

In addition to any civil penalties, employers may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if it is the employer’s first offense or a Class B misdemeanor if the employer has previously violated Alabama’s child labor laws. In situations where the violation involves serious injury or death of a minor, an employer may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if it is the employer’s first offense or a Class C felony if the employer has previously violated Alabama’s child labor laws in such a manner. AL Code 25-8-59