Florida Child Labor Laws – 16 and 17 Year Olds


Florida 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. The restrictions on the employment of 16 and 17 year olds under Florida’s child labor laws are discussed below.

Hours of work

Minors 16 and 17 years old may not work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m. and for more than 8 hours in one day when school is scheduled for the following day. When school is in session, they may not work more than 30 hours in one week. Only those 16 or 17 year olds enrolled in a career education program may be employed during school hours. FL Statute 450.081(2)

These time and hour restriction on youth labor do not apply if:

  • the minor is 16 or 17 years old and has graduated from high school or received a high school equivalency diploma;
  • the minor has received a valid certificate of exemption from the school superintendent or his or her designee pursuant to Florida Statute 1003.21;
  • the minor is enrolled in a public education institution and qualify on a hardship basis such as economic necessity or family emergency (such determination is made by the school superintendent or his or her designee, and a waiver of hours is issued to the minor and employer);
  • the minors works in domestic service in private homes;
  • the minor works for his or her parents; or
  • the minor works as a page of the Florida Legislature.

FL Statute 450.081(5)


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Prohibited occupations with a student learner exception

Florida child labor laws prohibit 16 and 17 year old youth, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor in Florida child labor laws as described above, except those employed in the entertainment industry, from working in the following occupations, unless they are employed as a student learner or their activities are limited to office, sales, or stockroom work which will not place the minor in clear and present danger of losing life or limb:

  • on any scaffolding, roof, superstructure, residential or nonresidential building building construction, or ladder above 6 feet;
  • in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines;
  • in the operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, or shearing machines;
  • slaughtering, meat packing, processing, or rendering, except as provided in US Regulation 29 CFR 570.61(c);
  • in the operation of power-driven paper products and printing machines;
  • excavation operations;
  • working on electric apparatus or wiring; or
  • operating or assisting to operate, including starting, stopping, connecting or disconnecting, feeding, or any other activity involving physical contact associated with operating, a tractor over 20 PTO horsepower, any trencher or earthmoving equipment, fork lift, or any harvesting, planting, or plowing machinery, or any moving machinery.

FL Statute 450.061(2); FL Admin. Code 61L-2.005 (referencing US Regulation 29 CFR 570).

Student learner

To qualify as a student learner for purposes of the above listed hazardous work, a minor must:

  • be enrolled in a youth vocational training program under a recognized state or local educational authority;
  • be employed under a written agreement that provides for the following:
    • the hazardous work performed by the student learner is incidental to the training;
    • the hazardous work is intermittent and for short periods of time and performed under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person;
    • safety instructions will be given and correlated with on-the-job training;
    • a schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed by the student learner on the job will be prepared before work begins.

FL Statute 450.161


Prohibited occupations with no student learner exception

Florida child labor laws prohibit 16 and 17 year old youth, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor in Florida child labor laws as described above, except those employed in the entertainment industry, from working in the following occupations, unless their activities are limited to office, sales, or stockroom work which will not place the minor in clear and present danger of losing life or limb:

  • in or around plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosive or articles containing explosive components;
  • motor-vehicle driver and outside helper;
  • occupations involving exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations;
  • in or around toxic substances or corrosives, including pesticides or herbicides, unless proper field entry time allowances have been followed;
  • any mining occupation;
  • in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus;
  • in the operation of power-driven baking machinery;
  • manufacturing brick, tile, and similar products;
  • wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations;
  • logging occupations and occupations in the operation of a sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill;
  • roofing operations;
  • in dispensing, transporting, modifying, or altering tanks, cylinders, or other equipment used for storing, any inert or compound gas, including air, which has been compressed to a pressure of more than 40 pounds per square inch (psi), except minors 16 or 17 years old may fill balloons and bicycle or car tires (but not truck or heavy equipment), if given proper instruction and the tank or cylinder is fixed and secure;
  • firefighting; or
  • occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears.

FL Statute 450.061(2), (3); FL Statute 450.061(2); FL Admin. Code 61L-2.005 (referencing US Regulation 29 CFR 570).