Delaware Child Labor Laws


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Delaware 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 Delaware. 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 Delaware child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

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

Farm work performed on a farm in a nonhazardous occupationEngaged in domestic work performed in or about a private homeWork performed in a business owned by a parent or one legally standing in the place of a parent in a nonhazardous occupation
Work performed by non-paid volunteers in a charitable or non-profit organization with the written consent of a parent or one legally standing in the place of a parentCaddying on a golf courseDelivery of newspapers to the consumer

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law


What days can a minor work in Delaware?

Delaware child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Delaware. However, Delaware rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law


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

The times during a day a minor may work in Delaware 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.

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Delaware 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.

For youth that are 14-years-old and 15-years old, Delaware child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they work depending whether school is in session, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or school is not in session, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law


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

How many hours can 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds work each day?

Under Delaware child labor laws, 16-years-old and 17-years-old youth nay not work more than 12 hours in combination of school and work hours each workday. They must also receive at least 8 consecutive hours each day in which they do not work and do not attend school.

Max Hours Work Each DaySchool daysNon-school days
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each day?12 combining school and work hour12
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?12 combining school and work hour12

How many hours can 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds work each day?

Moreover, under Delaware child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 4 hours on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day.

Max Hours Work Each DaySchool daysNon-school days
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?48
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?48

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law

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

The FLSA also restricts the times youth may work each workday. When Delaware child labor laws are more restrictive than the federal laws, the Delaware 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 week in Delaware?

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Delaware 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 Delaware child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 18 hours each week during school weeks and 40 hours on a non-school weeks.

Max Hours Worked Each WorkweekSchool Weeks
(Labor Day to June 1)
Non-School Weeks
(June 1 to Labor Day)
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?1840
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?1840
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

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law

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

Max Hours Worked Each Workweek
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?1840
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each week?1840
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each week?No restrictionNo restriction
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each week?No restrictionNo restriction

What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Delaware?

In Delaware, youth 14 years old and older may work in the following jobs with some limitations.

office and clerical workwork of an intellectual or artistically creative natureSome cooking
cashiering, selling, modeling, art work, work in advertising departments, window trimming and comparative shoppingprice marking and taggingbagging and carrying out customer orders
errand and delivery workcleanup workkitchen work and other work involved in preparing and serving food and beverages
cleaning kitchen equipmentcleaning vegetables and fruits, and the wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stocking of items, including vegetables, fruits, and meatsloading onto motor vehicles and the unloading from motor vehicles of the light, non-power-driven, hand tools and personal protective equipment
lifeguard (15-year-olds but not 14-year-olds) at traditional swimming
pools and water amusement parks
inside and outside of establishments where
machinery is used to process wood products under specific conditions
work in connection with cars and trucks including dispensing gasoline and oil, courtesy service on premises of gasoline service station, and car cleaning, washing, and polishing by hand
work in connection with riding inside passenger compartments of motor vehicles unless otherwise prohibited

In Delaware, youth under 16 years old may not work in the following jobs, except 1) as part of a regular work-training, student-learner, or similar program or 2) is engaged in the practice of farm labor with adult supervision.

manufacturing occupationany mining occupationmost processing occupations such as filleting of fish, dressing poultry, cracking nuts, developing of photographs, laundering, bulk or mass mailings
performing any duties in workrooms or workplaces where goods are manufactured, mined or otherwise processedoccupations involved with the operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing of hoisting apparatuswork performed in or about boiler or engine rooms or in connection with the maintenance
or repair of the establishment, machines, or equipment
occupations involved with the operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing or of any power-driven machineryoperation of motor vehicles or service as helpers on such vehiclesriding on a motor vehicle inside or outside of an enclosed passenger compartment
outside window washing that involves working from window sillsall work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutesall baking and most cooking activities with some exception
work in freezers and meat coolers and all work in the processing of meat for salepeddlingloading and unloading of goods or property onto or from motor vehicles, railroad
cars, and conveyors
catching and cooping of poultry in preparation for transport or for marketpublic messenger servicetransportation of persons or property by rail, highway, air, on water, pipeline, or other means
warehousing and storagecommunications and public utilitiesconstruction including repair and demolition projects
occupation found and declared to be hazardous by the secretary of
labor
meat slicersDeep fat fryers
steamers and pressure cookers used in the preparation of foodboilersstripping and sorting tobacco
tunnels or excavationscoal breakers or coke ovens

Under the FLSA, youth under 18 years old may not work in the following jobs except when serving a voluntary apprenticeship. When the FLSA restricts youth under 18 years of age from hazardous occupation that are otherwise permitted under the Delaware child labor laws, the FLSA restriction will apply.

Manufacturing and storing of explosivesMotor-vehicle driving and outside helper on a motor vehicleCoal mining
Occupations in forest fire fighting, forest fire prevention, timber tract operations, forestry service, logging, and sawmillingPower-driven woodworking machinesExposure to radioactive substances
Power-driven hoisting apparatus, including forkliftsPower-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machinesMining, other than coal mining
Operating power-driven meat processing equipment, including meat slicers and other food slicers, in retail establishments (such as grocery stores, restaurants kitchens and delis) and wholesale establishments, and most occupations in meat and poultry slaughtering, packing, processing, or renderingPower-driven bakery machines including vertical dough or batter mixersPower-driven balers, compactors, and paper processing machines
Manufacturing bricks, tile, and kindred productsPower-driven circular saws, bandsaws, chain saws, guillotine shears, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discsWrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations
Roofing operations and all work on or about a roofExcavation operations

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law, DC Child Labor Law FAQs, see also FLSA


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

Delaware child labor laws require teens under the age of 18 to obtain a work permit. To obtain a work permit, a teen must fill out their personal information in the application, including a parent/guardian’s signature, and then have their prospective employer fill out the employer information portion of the application. Once the teen and employer have filed out their portions of the application, the teen must present the application to 1) the issuing officer of their school, 2) the local DE Department of Labor office, or 3) email it to workpermits@delaware.gov.

DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Iowa, employers are required to provide minors with a unpaid meal period lasting 30 minutes or more if the minor works 5 consecutive hours in a shift. DE Statute 19.501 to 19.509, DE Department of Labor – Child Labor Law

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