Employment and Labor Laws

Alabama

Alabama Child Labor Laws

Alabama child labor laws regulate the ages, the times, and the types of work minors 17 years and younger may perform in Alabama. Generally, youth who are 16 and 17 years old may work in a broad range of jobs, but cannot work in jobs that Alabama has deemed are too hazardous. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may work in a broad 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. Children 13 years old or younger may not work in Alabama, except in some limited situations. Federal law regarding child labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may also apply. The details of Alabama child labor laws are discussed below.


What are Alabama child labor laws for 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 may work, and what jobs or occupations they may perform. The restrictions on the employment of 16 and 17-year-olds under Alabama’s child labor laws are discussed below.

What days, times, and hours can 16 and 17-year-olds work?

Alabama does not have any laws that restrict the days, times, or hours 16 and 17-year-olds may work.

What are the prohibited occupations for 16 and 17-year-olds?

Alabama child labor laws allow employers to employ youth who are 16 and 17 years old may work most jobs. However, they may not employ 16 and 17-year-olds in occupations that are hazardous or dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of the youth, except in limited situations as discussed below.

The following is a list of occupations that Alabama has determined fall within the category of prohibited occupations for 16 and 17-year-olds:

  • in connection with any mine, coke breaker, coke oven, or quarry in any capacity
  • wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking
  • in tunnels or excavations with a depth of four feet or more
  • in any roofing, scaffolding, or sandblasting operation
  • operating or driving a truck or heavy equipment over three tons gross weight
  • in logging
  • around any sawmill, lath mill, shingle, or cooperage-stock mill
  • operating power-driven woodworking machinery
  • operating power-driven bakery machinery
  • operating power-driven paper-products machinery
  • upon steam, electric, diesel, hydraulic, or other railroad
  • as a firefighter
  • operating stamping machines used in sheet metal or tin ware
  • operating stamping machines used in paper or leather manufacturing
  • operating stamping machines used in washer or nut factories
  • in or around steam boiler or rolling mill machinery
  • operating any power-driven metal forming, cutting, straightening, drawing, punching, or shearing machines
  • operating or assisting in operating power-driven hoisting apparatus, including elevators, open-freight elevators, cranes, and derricks, with the exception of an unattended automatic passenger elevator
  • operating any paper cutting, stapling, corrugating, or punching machines
  • assembling, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or servicing machinery in motion
  • operating circular saws, band saws, or guillotine shears
  • in or around a distillery where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, bottled, wrapped, or packed
  • in the manufacture, storage, or transportation of explosive components
  • in the manufacturing of brick, tile, or similar products
  • in the manufacture or transportation of dangerous or toxic chemicals or compounds
  • in, about, or in connection with, poisonous dyes, dangerous or poisonous gases, compositions of lye in dangerous quantities, dangerous or poisonous acids, or pesticides
  • in any activity involving exposure to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation
  • around asbestos or any other cancer-causing agents
  • operating or assisting in operating any job, cylinder, or offset printing presses
  • in any activity involving slaughtering, butchering, and meat cutting
  • in any place or occupation which the Alabama Department of Labor may declare dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of youth under 18 years of age

AL Statute 25-8-43(a)

Are there any exceptions to 16 and 17-year-olds working in prohibited occupations?

Employers may employ 16 and 17-year-olds in the prohibited occupations listed above if the youth are enrolled in work-study, student-learner, cooperative education, or similar programs in which the work performed is an integral part of the course of study. The work-study, student-learner, cooperative education, or similar program must be registered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. Employers may also employ 16 and 17-year-old youth if the employment is procured and supervised through the Alabama Department of Education and approved by the Alabama Department of Labor. AL Statute 25-8-43(b)


What are Alabama child labor laws for 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. The restrictions on the employment of 14 and 15-year-olds under Alabama’s child labor laws are discussed below.

What days, times, and hours can 14 and 15-year-olds work?

Pursuant to Alabama child labor laws, youth who are 14 or 15 years old may generally work:

  • While school is in session
    • for no more than 6 days in a school week
    • for no more than 18 hours in a school week
    • for no more than 8 hours on a non-school day
    • for no more than 3 hours on a school day
    • between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • While school is out of session
    • for no more than 6 days in a workweek
    • no more than 40 hours in a workweek
    • between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any given day

AL Statute 25-8-36

Under these rules, employers may not allow 14 and 15-year-olds to work overtime. An exception to these time restrictions is triggered when the 14 or 15-year-old has complete high school or an equivalent. In such instances, the youth may obtain permission from the local school superintendent to work the hours allowed for 14 and 15-year-olds when school is not in session even when school is in session. AL Statute 25-8-37

Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may only work in a trade or occupation performed in a street or public place, such as distributing or selling newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or candy, between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. AL Statute 25-8-40 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 Statute 25-8-42

What are the prohibited occupations for 14-and-15 year olds?

Alabama child labor laws allow employers to employ youth who are 14 and 15 years old during the time periods listed above in most jobs. However, they may not work in, about, or in connection with the following unless 1) they are working in agricultural service, 2) are enrolled in a youth pre-apprenticeship, youth industry-registry apprenticeship, or similar program that is registered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship and where employment and work-based learning are integral to the course of study, and 3) are supervised through the Alabama Department of Education and approved by the Alabama Department of Labor.

  • manufacturing or mechanical establishments
  • cannery, mill, workshop, warehouse, or machine shops
  • operating or assisting in operating sandpaper or wood polishing machinery
  • operating or assisting in operating washing, grinding, or mixing machinery
  • operating or assisting in operating commercial laundry equipment
  • operating or assisting in operating machines used in picking wool, cotton, hair, or any other material
  • rolling mill, machine shop, or manufacturing establishment which is hazardous or dangerous to health, limb, or life
  • in proximity to hazardous or unguarded gearing
  • any vessel or boat engaged in navigation or commerce within the jurisdiction of Alabama
  • manufacturing or packing paints, colors, or white or red lead
  • occupations causing dust in injurious quantities
  • soldering, brazing, heat treating, or welding
  • the building trades, except when the 14 or 15 year old is a member of the immediate family of the contractor and is employed in trades involving nonhazardous duties or occupations
  • repairing, painting, or cleaning buildings or structures while working at the top of ladders, lifts, or scaffolds exceeding a height of six feet
  • junk or scrap metal yard
  • assorting, manufacturing, or packing tobacco
  • operating any automobile, truck, or motor vehicle, or flagging or directing traffic
  • airport hangars or landing strips or taxi and maintenance aprons
  • lumberyards
  • selling fireworks, unless under the direct supervision of an individual who is at least 18 years of age.
  • any place or occupation the Alabama Department of Labor declares to be dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of children under 16 years of age

AL Statute 25-8-33AL Statute 25-8-35


What are the Alabama child labor laws for 13 years old and younger?

Except for the situations discussed below, Alabama child labor laws prohibit children 13 years of age and younger from:

  • working in any trade or occupation performed in a street or public place
  • distribute, sell, expose, or offer for sales articles such as:
    • newspapers
    • magazines
    • periodicals
    • candy.

The restrictions on youth under 14 years old does not apply in situations where:

  • no true employer-employee relationship exists
  • the services are performed on a voluntary basis such as work that is:
    • educational
    • charitable
    • religious
    • scientific
    • historical
    • literary
    • for nonprofit organizations

AL Statute 25-8-39 Minors who are found to be working in any street occupation in violation of the restrictions discussed above be arrested on juvenile delinquency charges. AL Statute 25-8-42


Are employers required to provide minors with meal and break rests?

Alabama child labor laws require employers 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.


Are minors required to obtain work permits or eligibility to work forms before working in Alabama?

Alabama child labor laws require 14 and 15 year olds to obtain an Eligibility to Work Form from the Alabama Department of Labor before they may begin working for an employer. Employers must obtain a copy of a youth’s Eligibility to Work Form and retain it on file for each 14 and 15 year old the employer employs in any any occupation, except agricultural services. AL Statute 25-8-45(a), (b) Employees may obtain an Eligibility to Work Form from their school if they are performing satisfactorily in school. AL Statute 25-8-46 The school which a 14 or 15 year old attends may revoke or suspend the youth’s employment if the youth’s attendance and performance record is not satisfactory. AL Statute 25-8-45(e)


Are employers required to have a child labor certificate before hiring a minor?

Alabama child labor laws require employers, except in agricultural services, to obtain a Class II Child Labor Certificate from the Alabama Department of Labor before employing any 14 or 15 year old youth. The certificate authorizes the employer to employ 14 and 15 year olds in conformance with the requirements of Alabama’s child labor laws and costs $15. An employer who employs a 14 or 15 year old without a Class I Child Labor Certificate will be subject to a $50 penalty. AL Statute 25-8-45(f), (g), (h)(3)

The Alabama Department of Labor may cancel a child labor certificate if it determines that the certificate was obtained illegally or improperly and require that the youth obtain a new certificate before the youth may lawfully begin working again. AL Statute 25-8-51


May minors work for establishments that sell alcoholic beverages?

Establishments that sell, serve, or dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may not employ 16 and 17-year-old youth to serve or dispense alcoholic beverages. The youth may be employed to work as busboys, dishwashers, janitors, cooks, hostesses, or seaters restricted to leading patrons to seats. They may also work as professional entertainers. AL Statute 25-8-44(b)

Such establishments that sell, serve, or dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may not employ any youth under the age of 16 unless a member of the youth’s immediate family owns and operates the establishment. In such cases, youth who are 14 and 15 years old may work in the establishment so long as they do not serve, sell, dispense, or handle alcoholic beverages. AL Statute 25-8-44(b), (c)


What are the rules for 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.

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


What are the rules for 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


Are minor allowed to work at adult entertainment establishments?

Alabama child labor laws prohibit adult entertainment establishment to employ youth under the age of 18 years-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


Are there any safety, health, or other working protections employers must provide for minors when they work?

Employers are required to keep their workplaces where employees under the age of 18 work free from dangers to life or limb, injuries to the health or morals, or unsanitary or unhealthy conditions. AL Code 25-8-34, AL Code 25-8-55 The Alabama Department of Labor may remove an employee under 18 from a workplace if the employee is afflicted with any infectious, contagious, or communicable disease, or if the employee’s physical condition makes it hazardous to perform the work. AL Code 25-8-56.

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


Are employers required to post Alabama child labor laws?

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)


Do employers have any record keeping requirements for hours worked by minors?

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, employers 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)


Are employers required to allow right of access to the State?

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


Does Alabama provide any whistleblowers and retaliation protection related to child labor laws?

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


Are there any penalties for violating Alabama child labor laws?

Employers who are not in compliance with 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 employer’s 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


Employment Law Updates

Laws change in a moment.

Sign up to stay informed.

Visiting on behalf of:

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING!

Please visit your email to confirm your subscription so you can start receiving employment law updates.

Employment Law Updates

Laws change in a moment.

Sign up to stay informed.

Visiting on behalf of:

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING!

Please visit your email to confirm your subscription so you can start receiving employment law updates.