FLSA Child Labor Laws for 16-17 Year Olds

The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from employing oppressive child labor. 29 US Code 212(c) Oppressive child labor for youth between the ages of 16 and 18 includes any occupations that the US Department of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous or detrimental to their health or welfare. 29 US Code 203(l)(2); 29 CFR 570.117; 29 CFR 570.118; 29 CFR 570.120 The specifics of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s regulation of the employment of 16 and 17-year-olds are discussed below.

Occupations 16 and 17 year olds may not perform

Under the child labor laws of the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers may employ 16 and 17-year-olds for any job unless it has been deemed particularly hazardous for such youth or detrimental to their health or well-being. 29 US Code 203(l)(2); 29 CFR 570.118; 29 CFR 570.120 The following is a list of the occupations the US Department of Labor has deemed to be particularly hazardous for 16 and 17-year-olds or detrimental to their health or well-being and which 16 and 17-year-olds may not perform the following work:

29 CFR 570.51-570.68


Age certification

Employers who employ minors are not in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor laws if they keep on file unexpired certificates of age for each minor employed. 29 US Code 203(l)(2); 29 CFR 570.5(a); 29 CFR 570.38; 29 CFR 570.121 For more information, visit our page on Age Certificates.


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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.