Employment and Labor Laws

Florida

Florida Child Labor Laws

Florida child labor laws regulate the ages, the times, and the types of work minors 17 years and younger may perform in Florida. Generally, youth who are 16 and 17 years old may work in a broad range of jobs, but cannot work in jobs that Florida 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 Florida, except in some limited situations. The detail of Florida’s child labor laws are discussed below.


What is the definition of a child or minor under Florida child labor laws?

Florida child labor laws define a child or minor as any person who is 17 years old or younger unless one of the following applies:

  • the individual is or has been married;
  • a court of competent jurisdiction has declared that the individual be treated as an adult;
  • the individual is serving or has served in the United States Armed Forces;
  • a count has determined that it is in the best interest of the individual to work as an adult and the court has approved the individual’s job, including the terms and conditions of the job; or
  • the individual has graduated from high school or holds a high school equivalency diploma.

FL Statute 450.012(3)


Does Florida require a child to provide proof of their identity and age to get a job?

Employers who employ individuals 17 years or younger, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor in Florida child labor laws as described above, must obtain and keep on record proof of the child’s age for the entire period the minor is employed. Employers may meet this required by obtaining and retaining:

  • a photocopy of the minor’s birth certificate;
  • a photocopy of the minor’s driver license;
  • an age certificate issued by the school board of the district in which the child is employed which certifies the youth’s date of birth;
  • a photocopy of a passport or visa which lists the child’s date of birth; or
  • a photocopy of the minor’s identification card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

FL Statute 450.045(1); FL Admin. Code 61L-2.003


What are the laws for 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.

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

Minors 16 and 17 years old may not work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m. and may work for a maximum of eight (8) hours in one (1) 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)

In what occupations are 16 and 17 year olds prohibited from working?

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 explosives 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).

Florida law prohibits 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, forklifts, 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).

Are their any exceptions for 16 and 17 year olds that are student learners?

Florida child labor laws allow employees to engage in many otherwise prohibited occupations, as discussed above, if they are a student learners. 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


What are the laws for 14 and 15 year olds?

Florida 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 Florida’s child labor laws are discussed below.

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

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

  • When school is in session
    • between 7:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. when school is schedule for the following day
    • no more than 15 hours in one week
    • no more than three (3) hours in on any school day, unless they are enrolled in a career education program or there is no session of school the following day
  • During holidays and summer vacations
    • between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
    • no more than 40 hours in one week
    • no more than eight (8) hours in one day

FL Statute 450.081(1)

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

  • 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)

Prohibited occupations

Florida child labor laws prohibit 14 and 15 year old youth, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor as described above, except those employed in the entertainment industry, from working in the following occupations:

  • in connection with power-driven machinery, except law power mowers with cutting blades 40 inches or less;
  • in manufacturing, mining, or processing occupations, including occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or work place where goods are manufactures, mined, or otherwise processed;
  • in any manufacturing that uses industrial machines to make or process a product;
  • the manufacture, transportation, or use of explosive or highly flammable substances;
  • sawmills or logging operations;
  • on any scaffolding;
  • in construction (including demolition and repair);
  • in work performed in or about boiler or engine rooms;
  • in work maintaining or repairing machines or equipment;
  • loading and unloading goods to and from trucks, railroad cars, or conveyors;
  • in operating motor vehicles, except a motorscooter which they are licensed to operate, except 14 and 15 year olds may drive farm tractors in the course of their farm work under the close supervision of their parents on a family-operated farm, and exempt that qualified 14 and 15 year olds may drive tractors in the course of their farm work under the close supervision of the farm operator (qualified means having completed a training course in tractor operation sponsored by a recognized agricultural or vocation agency, as evidenced by a duly executed certificate, such certificate to be filed with the farm operator for the duration of the employment;
  • service as a helper on a motor vehicle;
  • public messenger service;
  • in transportation of people or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other means;
  • in warehousing and storage, except office and clerical work;
  • in occupations involved in agriculture as defined in 29 CFR 570.71)
  • in communications and electric utilities;
  • in oiling, cleaning, or wiping machinery or shafting or applying belts to pulleys;
  • in repairing elevators or other hoisting apparatus;
  • operating or tending of hoisting apparatus or of any power-driven machinery other than office machines;
  • in freezers or meat coolers and all work in preparation of meat for sale, except wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stocking when performed in a different area (this does not prohibit work performed in the normal operation of a food service facility licensed under Florida Statute 509;p
  • operating power-driven laundry or dry cleaning machinery or any similar power-driven machinery;
  • spray painting;
  • alligator wrestling, work in conjunction with snake pits, or similar hazardous activities;
  • 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);
  • door-to-door sales of products, magazines, subscriptions, candy, cookies, flowers, except merchandise of nonprofit organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of America or the Boy Scouts of America; or
  • in working with meat or vegetable slicing machines.

FL Statute 450.061(1)FL Admin. Code 61L-2.005 (referencing US Regulation 29 CFR 570).


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

Under Florida’s child labor laws, minors of any age may work in the following:

  • as pages at the Florida Legislature;
  • in the entertainment industry as regulated in Florida Statutes Florida Statutes 450.012(5) and 450.132;
  • in domestic or farm work with parental consent at their own homes or the farm or ranch where they live, during the hours they are not required to be in school;
  • directly for their own parents or guardians, during the hours they are not required to be in school;
  • in herding, tending, and managing livestock, during the hours they are not required to be in school.

FL Statute 450.021(1)

Minors 10 years of age or younger may not sale or distribute newspapers. FL Statute 450.021(2)

Minors 13 years or younger many not be employed in any job at any time, except in those instances listed above. FL Statute 450.021(3)


Can establishments that sell alcoholic beverages hire minors?

Florida child labor laws prohibit any youth 17 years or younger, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor in Florida child labor laws as described above, from working in any place where alcoholic beverages are sold at retail, except:

  • professional entertainers who are 17 years old and who are not in school;
  • minors employed in the entertainment industry, who have been granted a waiver under Florida Statute 450.095, who are employed under the terms of Florida Statute 450.132, or who work under any other rules or regulations adopted by the state;
  • minors who work in drugstores, grocery stores, department stores, florists, specialty gift shops, or automobile service stations which have a license to sell beer or beer and wine, when sales of the alcohol are made for consumption off premises;
  • individuals who are 17 years of age who have graduated from high school or who are senior high school students with written permission from their principal who are employed by a bona fide food service establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold, provided that the individuals do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of the beverages and their duties are of such a nature as to provide them with training and knowledge as might lead to further advancement in food service establishments;
  • individuals working as bellhopps, elevator operators, and other in hotels when such employees are engaged in work apart from the portion of the hotel where alcoholic beverages are sold;
  • individuals working in bowling alleys whether alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed, so long as the individuals do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of the beverages;
  • individuals working in a bona fide dinner theater, so long as their work is limited to the services of an actor, actress, or musician (a dinner theater is defined as a theater presenting consecutive productions playing no less than 3 weeks each in conjunction with dinner service on a regular basis where both events occur in the same room and the advertised price of admission includes both the cost of the meal and the attendance at the performance);
  • individuals working for a vendor, club, caterer, or other business licensed under FL Statute 565.02(6), provided such persons do not participate in the sale, preparation, or service of alcoholic beverages.

FL Statute 450.021(4); FL Statute 450.13


Can adult entertainment establishments hire minors?

Florida child labor laws prohibit any youth 17 years or younger, including those that are exempt from the definition of child or minor in Florida child labor laws as described above, from being employed, permitted, or suffered to work in an adult theater as defined in Florida Statute 847.001(2)(b). FL Statute 450.021(5), FL Statute 562.13(2)(h)


Are minors entitled to meal and/or rest breaks when they work?

Minors 17 years old or younger may not work for more than six (6) consecutive days in a week. FL Statute 450.081(3) Additionally, they must be provide at least a 30 minute break after having work four (4) continuous hours. Breaks of less than 30 minutes are not deemed to interrupt a continuous period of work. FL Statute 450.081(4)


May a child be granted a waiver from Florida child labor laws?

In extenuating circumstances when it clearly appears to be in the child’s best interest, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation may grant a waiver or partial waiver of the child labor law restrictions. Waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or a school district designee if the minor is enrolled in the public school system. FL Statute 450.095

To obtain a waiver or partial waiver, the minor, his or her parents, guardians or chaperon, or his or her employer must submit the form, Application for Waiver of Florida Child Labor Law, Form DBPR FCL 1002 (Rev. 2/93), along with supportive factual information and documentation justifying the waiver. If awarded, the waiver applications will specify the restrictions that are waived and will be valid for no longer than one year. Employers must keep a copy of the waiver on file for the entire time the minor is employed.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation or a school district designee if the minor is enrolled in the public school system considers all relevant information including:

  • school status, including whether
    • the minor will receive instruction from a tutor at the place of employment;
    • the district school superintendent has authorized the minor to complete his or her education through other methods, such as home school;
    • the minor has been permanently expelled from the public school system;
    • the minor is enrolled in school in a foreign country and is visiting Florida while his or her school is not in session; or
    • the work would provide the minor an educational, vocational, or public service experience that would be beneficial.
  • whether compliance with the child labor restriction would cause an undue financial hardship for the minor or the minor’s immediate family. Documentation supporting a financial hardship waiver should include:
    • a notarized letter from a parent, guardian, or other adult who can attest to the minor’s hardship explaining the circumstances creating the hardship;
    • written confirmation from a recently-attended school;
    • documentation for a social services agency; or
    • verification of participation in AFDC, Food Stamp, Project Independence, or other similar programs.
  • whether physical or mental medical hardship creates a need for the waiver. Documentation supporting a medical hardship waiver should include written confirmation from the minor’s physician stating the specific medical reasons the waiver from mandatory school attendance and affirming that the minor to excused from mandatory attendance may be allowed to work the requested hours or that the minor should be considered an adult for purposes of work hours;
  • whether another type of hardship creates a need for the waiver; and
  • whether there is a court order mandating that the minor work specific hours or in a specified occupation.

FL Admin. Code 61L-2.007


Are minors entitled to be provided safety equipment from their employers?

Employers must provide minors any safety equipment recognized as necessary in the industry and must instruct the minor on proper usage of the equipment. FL Admin. Code 61L-2.004


Are employers required to post Florida child labor laws?

Employers who employ minors must post in a conspicuous place on their property or place of employment, a poster notifying minors of Florida’s child labor laws. A copy of the child labor laws poster may be found on Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation website.


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

Florida child labor laws require employers to allow the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to enter and inspect at any time and any place the files kept by employers and any other documents that may help in enforcing the Florida child labor laws. If an employer does not keep records at the location where youth work, they must produce the records to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation within two (2) workdays. FL Statute 450.121(2); FL Admin. Code 61L-2.008


Are there special rules for minors in the entertainment industry?

Florida child labor laws allow youth of any age to work in the entertainment industry subject to several restrictions and limitations. For more information, visit our Florida Child Labor Laws – Entertainment Industry page.


Are there any penalties for violating Florida child labor laws?

Florida child labor laws contain penalty provisions that provide for both criminal and civil penalties. Those potential penalties are discussed below.

Criminal penalties

Employers or other entities who violate Florida’s child labor laws are guilt of a 2nd degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in Florida Statutes 775.082 or 775.083.

Civil penalties

In addition to potential criminal charges, employers or other entities who violate Florida’s child labor laws may be subject to administrative fines not to exceed $2,500 per offense. Before a fine may be levied, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation must give the employer or other entity notice that it believes a violation has occurred, the provision of the child labor law believed to be violated, the facts support the allegation, the remedial requirement, and the time frame in which the requirement must be met. Fines may only be levied if the employer or other entity fails to remedy the violation within the time given in the notice. Below are potential violations and the fine structure developed by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation:

  • Child labor poster not posted conspicuously
    • 1st Offense – up to $500
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,000
    • 3rd Offense – up to $1,500
  • Employment of minor in violation of age limitations
    • 1st Offense – up to $700
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,500
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,500
  • Proof of age or copy of partial waiver of child labor law not on file
    • 1st Offense – up to $700
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,200
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,000
  • Employment of minor in violation of alcoholic beverage law
    • 1st Offense – up to $1,000
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,500
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,500
  • Child labor poster not posted conspicuously
    • 1st Offense – up to $500
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,000
    • 3rd Offense – up to $1,500
  • Violation of work hours restrictions of the child labor law
    • 1st Offense – up to $700
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,200
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,500
  • Employment of minor in prohibited hazardous occupations
    • 1st Offense – up to $1,200
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,700
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,500
  • Employment of minor in violation of any child labor law provision that results in injury or death to a minor
    • 1st Offense – up to $500
    • 2nd Offense – up to $2,500
    • 3rd Offense – $2,500
  • Any other violation of the Florida child labor laws
    • 1st Offense – up to $500
    • 2nd Offense – up to $1,500
    • 3rd Offense – up to $2,500

FL Admin. Code 61L-2.009


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