Michigan Child Labor Laws


Michigan stamp

Michigan 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 Michigan. 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 Michigan child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

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

  • children at least 11 years old may work as a referee or umpire for an age bracket yearn than their own age
  • children at least 11 years old to work as a golf caddy
  • children at least 13 years old to work in certain farming operations
  • children at least 13 years old to perform services which entail setting traps for formal or informal trap, skeet, and sporting clays shooting events
  • domestic work or chores in connection with a private residence
  • soliciting, distributing, selling, or offering for sale newspapers, magazines, periodicals, political, or advertising matter
  • shoe shining
  • services performed as a member of a recognized youth oriented organization that is engaged in citizenship training and character building, if the services are not intended to replace employees in occupations for which workers are ordinarily paid
  • employment in a business owned and operated by the parent or guardian of the minor

MI Employment Youth Standards Act


What days can a minor work in Michigan?

Michigan child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Michigan. However, Michigan prohibits a youth from working more than 6 days in a workweek.


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

The times during a day a minor may work in Michigan 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. MI Employment Youth Standards Act

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Michigan child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they work depending on whether the will be working before a school day. On days before school days, 16- and 17-year-olds can work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. On days before non-school days, 16- and 17-year-olds can work from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Days before non-school days include Fridays, Saturdays, school vacation periods, and periods when the minor is not regularly enrolled in school.

For youth that are 14-years-old and 15-years old, Michigan child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they work to times during 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

AgeDays before School DaysDays before Non-School Days
(includes Fridays and Saturdays)
What times can a 14-year-old work?7 a.m. to 9 p.m7 a.m. to 9 p.m
What times can a 15-year-old work?7 a.m. to 9 p.m7 a.m. to 9 p.m
What times can a 16-year-old work?6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
What times can a 17-year-old work?6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

In addition to Michigan’s child labor laws, the federal FLSA also has rules governing the times teens may work each day. In some situations, the federal rules may be more restrictive. When federal rules are more restrictive, employers and youth in Michigan must comply with those time restriction. The FLSA restricts the times during the day in which 14 and 15-year-olds may work depending whether the times are during school weeks, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or non-school weeks, 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

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

Under Michigan child labor laws, minors can only work an average of 8 hours per week in a workweek and no more than 10 hours in a single day.

AgeAverage Hours Worked Each Day in a WorkweekMax Hours Worked in One Day
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?810
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?810
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each day?810
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?810

Federal child labor laws have more strict rules than Michigan regarding the number of hours 14 and 15 year olds can work in a work day. Businesses and teens must comply with the stricter rule for school days set forth by the federal FLSA.

AgeMax Hours Work Each Day
(School days)
Max Hours Work Each Day
(Non-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 Michigan?

Under Michigan child labor laws, minors who are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 48 hours in a workweek; however, are 14-years-old and 15-years-old are also limited to working no more the 48 hours in a workweek when combining school time and work time.

Under Michigan child labor laws, minors who are 16 and 17 year olds, except in certain farming operations, may work no more the 24 hours when they are a student and school is in session. If the 16 or 17 year old is no longer a student or school is not in session, the teen may work up to 48 hours in a workweek.

Age – Max Hours Worked Each Week
School Weeks
(Labor Day to June 1)
Non-School Weeks
(June 1 to Labor Day)
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each week?48 with school and work combined48
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each week?48 with school and work combined48
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each week?2448
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each week?2448

Also, under federal child labor laws, however, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 24 hours in a workweek during school weeks and 48 hours during non-school weeks.

Age – Max Hours Worked Each Week
School Weeks
(Labor Day to June 1)
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

Are there different time and day rules for minors who work in farming operations?

When a 16- or 17-year-old works in certain farming operations involved in the production of seed or in agricultural processing, different time and day work rules may apply in Michigan.

For eligible minors, they may work:

  • no more than 11 hours in 1 day
  • no more than 62 hours in a workweek, although an minor may refuse to work more than 48 hours in a workweek
  • the time between 5 a.m. and 2 a.m. the following day

MI Department of labor and Economic Opportunity – Child Labor Poster


Can a minor request a deviation from the limitations regarding time and day restrictions?

Michigan child labor laws allows youth who are 16 and 17 years old request a deviation from the times the youth may be able to work in workday. If granted, the deviation would permit the 16 or 17 year old to work before 6 a.m. or after 10:30 p.m. or 11:30 p.m. MI Youth Employment Standards Act FAQs


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Michigan?

Under the Michigan child labor laws and/or the FLSA child labor laws, employees under 18 years old may not work in jobs that are considered hazardous. Here is a list of some occupations Michigan has found to be hazardous. MI Youth Employment Standards Act FAQs

Contact with hazardous substances, chemicals, explosives, or radioactive substancesJobs using woodworking machineryWork on construction sites, excavation sites, bridges, streets, or highways
Driving and working as an outside helper (pizza delivery, etc.)Ladders and scaffolding for those less than 16 years of ageSlaughtering, butchering, cutting meat or using meat slicers, cleavers, or boning knives
Jobs in the logging and sawmill industryBrazing, welding, soldering, or heat treating for those less than 16 years of ageOccupations involving power driven equipment, tools, saws, or machinery (bakery machines, paper product
machines, and metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines)

Here is a list of jobs the FLSA considers hazardous.

In, about or in conjunction with any public messenger or deliver service, bowling alley, pool room, billiard room, skating rink (except an ice skating rink owned and operated by a school or unit of local government); exhibition park or place of amusement, garage or as a bell boy in any hotel or rooming house or about or in connection with power-driver machinery.In the operation of machinery used in the cold rolling of heavy metal stock, or in the operation of power-driven punching, shearing, stamping or meta [late pending machinesIn oil refineries, gasoline blending plants or pumping stations on oil transmission linesIn logging operations
In the oiling, cleaning or wiling of machinery or shaftingIn or about sawmills or lath, shingle or cooperage stock millsIn operation of laundry, dry cleaning or dying machineryIn public and private utilities and related services
In or about any mine or quarryIn the operation of power driven woodworking machines or off bearing from circular sawsIn occupations involving exposure to radioactive substancesIn operations in or in connection with slaughtering, meat packing, poultry processing and fish and seafood processing
In stone cutting or polishingIn the operation of freight elevators or hoisting machines and cranesIn or about any filling station or service stationIn operations which involve working on an elevated surface, with or without use of equipment, including but not limited to ladders and scaffolds
In or about any hazardous factory workIn spray painting or in occupations involving exposure to lead or its compounds or to dangerous or poisonous dyes or chemicalsIn construction work, including demolition and repairIn security positions or any occupation that requires the use or carrying of a firearm or other weapon
In or about any plant manufacturing explosives or articles containing explosive components, in the use of transportation of sameIn any place or establishment in which intoxicating alcoholic liquors are served or sold for consumption on the premises, or in which such liquors are manufactured or bottled; except as follows:In roofing operationsIn occupations which involve the handling or storage of blood, blood products, body fluids or body tissue
In or about plants manufacturing iron or steel, ore reduction works, smelters, foundries, forging shops, hot rolling mills or any place in which the heating melting or heat treating of metals is carried on– busboy and kitchen employment, not otherwise prohibited, when in connection with the service of meals at any private club, fraternal organization or veteran’s organization shall not be prohibited by this subsection;
– this subsection 13 does not apply to employment that is performed on property owned or operated by a park district, as defined in subsection (a) of Section 1-3 of the Park District Code, if the employment is not otherwise prohibited by law;
In excavating operations

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

Michigan child labor laws require teens to a have work permit to work in Michigan. To obtain a work permit, MI Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity recommends that a youth contact their school or school district who has the authority to issued the permit. MI Employment Youth Standards Act

Before the issuing officer of the school or school district issues the work permit, the teen must present:

  • a signed statement from the prospective employer setting forth the general nature of the occupation in which the employer intends to employ the teen, the hours during which the teen will be employed, the wages to be paid, and other information the department of education requires.
  • evidence showing the teen is the minimum age necessary to perform the job duties for which they will be hired.

An employer may request an minor to provide an age certificate to before they will hire the minor. The age certificate helps the employer ensure the minor is at least 14 years old. A teen may obtain an age certificate by contacting their school or the school superintendent of the district or county in which the applicant resides who may issue the certificate.


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Michigan, 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. MI Youth Employment Standards Act FAQs

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