Arkansas Child Labor Laws


Arkansas stamp

Arkansas child labor laws set forth the rules and limitations regarding the days and time children under the age of 18 years old may work in Arkansas. They also clarify and limit the types of work children under the age of 14 and youth who are 14, 15, 16, and 17 year olds may work. It is also important to remember that businesses and youth workers must comply with the federal child labor laws set forth in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Below is information about Arkansas child labor law rules and limitations.

How old do you have to be to work in Arkansas?

Under Arkansas child labor laws, youth must be 14-years-old or older to get a job and work in Arkansas with a few exceptions.

There are a few exceptions for children under the age 14. The exemptions for all children include:

employed by their parents or guardians in occupations owned or controlled by them during school vacationbuy, sell, and deliver and to collect for newspapers with parent or guardian approvalperform the duties of a batboy or batgirl for a professional baseball club
employed in the entertainment industry provided such employment is in compliance with AR child labor laws for youth in entertainment

AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor


What days can a minor work in Arkansas?

Arkansas child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Arkansas. However, Arkansas child labor laws prohibit employers from requiring youth who are 16 years old or younger from working in more than 6 days each workweek. Also, Arkansas rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor


What times during the day can a minor work in Arkansas?

The times during a day a minor may work in Arkansas varies based on 1) whether they are under 16 year old or not, and 2) whether the work will be during school weeks or non-school weeks.

AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor

What times can a 14-year-old work and 15-year-old work?

For youth that are 14-years-old and 15-years old, Arkansas child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they work depending whether it is the day before a school day, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., or a day before a non-school day, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

AgeDay before School DaysDay before Non-School Days
What times can a 14-year-old work?6 a.m. to 7 p.m.7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What times can a 15-year-old work?6 a.m. to 7 p.m.7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What times can a 16-year-old work?

For youth that are 16-years-old, Arkansas child labor laws restricts the hours they may work on any day before a school day to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Arkansas child labor laws allow 16-year-olds to work between 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. on any day before a non-school day if the occupation to classified as time restricted. For occupations that are classified as not time restricted, 16-year-olds may work any time during the day.

AgeBefore School DaysBefore Non-School Days
Non-Permitted Work
Before Non-School Days
Permitted work
What times can a 16-year-old work?6 a.m. to 11 p.m.6 a.m. to 12 a.m.No restriction

The restricted occupations that limit the times 16-year-olds may work include:

in any convenience or retail store of less than 4500 square feetin any restaurant, except that a sixteen (16) year-old may work in a locked restaurant or fast-food restaurant if only the drive-through window is open to the general publicin any business where a child would be working without direct supervision by an adult 21 years of age or older
in any business which serves alcoholin any business which provides adult entertainment, including nude or topless entertainmentat any truck stop or service station
at any race track or gambling establishmentas a security guardas a delivery person
in violation of any local curfew ordinanceany occupations that is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law

What times can a 17-year-old work?

For youth that are 17-years-old, Arkansas child labor laws do not restrict the times during a workday in which they may work, except an employer may not require a minor to work when the minor is supposed to be in school.

AgeDay before School DaysDay before Non-School Days
What times can a 17-year-old work?No restrictionNo restriction

What are the federal rules regarding times worked by youth in Arkansas?

The FLSA also restricts the times youth may work each workday. When Arkansas child labor laws are more restrictive that the federal laws, the Arkansas rules apply.

AgeSchool Weeks
(Labor Day to June 1)
Non-School Weeks
(June 1 to Labor Day)
What times can a 14-year-old work?7 a.m. until 7 p.m.7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
What times can a 15-year-old work?7 a.m. until 7 p.m.7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
What times can a 16-year-old work?No restrictionNo restriction
What times can a 17-year-old work?No restrictionNo restriction

How many hours can a minor work each day in Arkansas?

For youth that are 17-years-old, Arkansas child labor laws do not restrict how many hours they may work in a workday, except an employer may not require a minor to work when the minor is supposed to be in school.

Under Arkansas child labor laws, children that are 16-years-olds may work no more than 10 hours in a workday nor 10 consecutive hours in a day.

Moreover, under Arkansas child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 8 hours on a school day or a non-school day.

Max Hours Work Each DaySchool daysNon-school days
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?88
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?88
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each day?1010
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?No restrictionNo restriction

AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor

The FLSA also restricts the how many hours a youth may work each workday. When Arkansas child labor laws are more restrictive than the federal laws, the Arkansas rules apply.

Max Hours Work Each DaySchool daysNon-school days
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?38
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?38
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each day?No restrictionNo restriction
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?No restrictionNo restriction

How many hours can a minor work each week in Arkansas?

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Arkansas child labor laws do not restrict how many hours they may work in a workweek, except an employer may not require a minor to work when the minor is supposed to be in school.

Moreover, under Arkansas child labor laws, children that are 16-years-old may work no more than 54 hours in a workweek.

Moreover, under Arkansas child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 48 hours in a workweek.

The FLSA also restricts the how many hours a youth may work each workweek. When federal laws are more restrictive that the federal laws, the federal child labor laws apply.

Max Hours Worked Each WorkweekArkansas
Federal Law
School Weeks
(Labor Day to June 1)
Federal Law
Non-School Weeks
(June 1 to Labor Day)
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each week?481840
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each week?481840
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each week?54No restrictionNo restriction
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each week?No restrictionsNo restrictionNo restriction

AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, youth under 16 years old may not work in the following jobs, except as part of a regular work-training program. The federal FLSA also restricts youth under 16 years old from certain hazardous occupations. It also restricts youth under 18 years old from working in certain hazardous occupations. Youth and employers must comply with both Arkansas and federal child labor law hazardous occupations restrictions.

Below is a list of some of the prohibited occupations for youth under the at of 16 years old set forth by Arkansas child labor laws. For the full list visit AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws.

Work performed in, about, or in connection with any processes in which dangerous or poisonous acids or gases or other chemicals are usedSolderingIn occupations causing dust in injurious quantities
In scaffoldingIn heavy work in the building tradesIn any tunnel or excavation
In any mine, coal breaker, coke oven, or quarryIn any pool or billiard roomAdjusting any belt to any machinery
Sewing or lacing machine belts in any workshop or factoryOiling, wiping, or cleaning machinery or assisting thereinCircular or band saws
Wood shapersWood jointersPlaners
Sandpaper or wood polishing machineryWood turning or boring machineryPicker machines or machines used in picking wool
Carding machinesJob cylinder printing presses operated by power other than foot powerBoring or drill presses
Stamping machines used in metal or in paper or leather manufacturingMetal or paper cutting machinesCorner staying machines in paper box factories
Steam boilersDough brakes or cracker machinery of any descriptionWire or iron straightening or drawing machinery
Rolling mill machineryWashing, grinding or mixing machineryLaundering machinery
In proximity to any hazardous or unguarded belt, machinery or gearingUpon any railroad, whether steam, electric, or hydraulicIn any saloon, resort, or bar where intoxicating liquor of any kind is sold or dispensed.
In manufacturing, mining or processing occupations, including occupations requiring the performance of duties in work rooms or work places where goods are manufactured, mined, or otherwise processedOccupations which involve the operation or tending of hoisting apparatus or of any power-driven machinery other than office machinesThe operation of motor vehicles or service as helpers on such vehicles
Public messenger serviceTransportation of persons or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other meansWarehousing and storage
Communications and public utilitiesConstruction (including demolition and repair); except such office (including ticket office) work, or sales work in connection with A.), B.), C.) and D.), as does not involve the performance of any duties on trains, motor vehicles, aircraft, vessels, or other media of transportation or at the actual site of construction operationIn or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components, except where such work is performed in a non-explosives area
In logging and in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock millIn or about slaughtering and meat packing establishments or rendering plantsOccupations in proximity to pin-setting machinery or gearing in bowling alleys
Cooking and bakingSetting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppersNumerous agricultural occupations

AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor


Does a teen need to have a work permit or certificate to work in Arkansas?

Arkansas child labor laws do not require teens to obtain an employment certificate (work permit) to work in Arkansas. AR Admin. Rules – Child Labor Laws, AR Department of Labor and Licensing – Child Labor Although, teens may obtain a federal certificate of age to validate their age and employers may rely on the federal age certificate to defend themselves from claims that they employed an underage teen. FLSA Child Labor Law Age Certificates


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

Arkansas labor laws do not require employers to provide meals or breaks to youth except children under the age of 16 employed in the entertainment industry. AR Admin. Regs. for Child Labor Section 2.402(c).

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