Missouri Child Labor Laws


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Missouri 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 Missouri. 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 Missouri child labor law rules and limitations.

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

Under Missouri child labor laws, youth must be 14-years-old or older to get a job and work in Missouri with a few exceptions. This includes work for youth 12 years old or older than includes:

babysittingoccasional yard work performed with the parent’s consentrefereeing (no certificate needed)
newspaper deliverycoaching

Also, there is not minimum age for youth working in the entertainment industry if they have a permit.

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment


What days can a minor work in Missouri?

Missouri child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Missouri. However, 14 and 15-year-old youth may work no more than 6 days per workweek. Also, Missouri rules limit the times during a day a minor may work.

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment


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

The times during a day a minor may work in Missouri 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, Missouri 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, Missouri child labor laws and the FLSA restrict the times during the day in which they may work depending whether school is in session, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or not in session, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Although, in certain circumstances, 14 and 15 year olds may work until 10:30 p.m. at a regional fair between June 1 and Labor Day.

AgeSchool in Session
(Labor Day to June 1)
School out of Session
(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

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment, FLSA


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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Missouri child labor laws do not restrict the number of hours the teen may work in a workday, except an employer may not require a minor to work when the minor is supposed to be in school.

However, under the FLSA and Missouri child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 6 hours on a day when the follow day with be a school day. If the following day is not a school day, 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 8 hours on a day

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

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment, FLSA


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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Missouri child labor laws do not restrict the number of hours the teen may work in a workweek.

However, under federal child labor laws, 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 WeekMissouri Law
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?401840
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each week?401840
How many hours can a 16-year-old work each week?40No restrictionNo restriction
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each week?40No restrictionNo restriction

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment, FLSA


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Missouri?

In Missouri, youth 14 years old and older may work in the following jobs.

Office/clerical workMaintenance/janitorial services for private residenceVehicle cleaning services: polishing and washing
Retail: cashier, price marking, bagging, selling, packing, shelvingFood service delivery: preparing/serving food and beverages

In Missouri, youth 14 years old and older may not work in the following jobs.

Door-to-door sales (excluding churches, schools, scouts)Transporting or handling Type A and B explosives or ammunitionJobs involving ionizing or non-ionizing radiation or radioactive substances
Operating hazardous equipment: ladders, scaffolding, freight elevators, cranes, hoisting machines, man lifts, etc.Operation of any motor vehicleJobs in hotels, motels, or resorts unless the work performed is physically separated from the sleeping accommodations
Handling/maintaining power-driven machinery (with the exception of lawn/garden machinery in a domestic setting)Metal-producing industries including stamping, punching, cold rolling, shearing, or heatingJobs in any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold, manufactured, bottled or stored unless 50 percent of the workplace sales are generated from other goods
Mining, quarrying, or stone cutting/polishing (except in jewelry stores)Saw mills or cooperage stock (barrel) mills or where woodworking machinery is usedAny job dangerous to the life, limb, health, or morals of youth

Under the Missouri 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 the jobs that are considered 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

MO Statutes 294.005 to 294.150, MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment, FLSA


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

Missouri child labor laws require 14 and 15-year-old teens to a have work certificate (work permit) to work in Missouri. Work certificates may be issued by:

  • the public school superintendent of the school district in which the child resides
  • the chief executive officer of the charter school that the child attends
  • the public or private school principal of the school that the child attends
  • the designee of any of these school officials
  • a parent of the child if the child is home-schooled

A youth seeking a work certificate must present the following information to the individual authorized to issue the certificate:

  • A statement signed by their prospective employer setting forth the specific nature of the work they will perform and the exact hours of the day, the number of hours per day, and the days per week the child will work.
  • Written consent of the child’s parent, legal custodian, or guardian, or, if deemed necessary by the issuing officer, the child must be accompanied by his or her parent, legal custodian, or guardian. (For home-schooled children, a parent’s signature on the work certificate will fulfill this requirement.)
  • Proof of the child’s age (birth certificate or other evidence).
  • If requested by the authorized issuer
    • A certificate from the principal of the school that the child attends setting out the child’s grades
    • A certificate from a physician that has personally examined the child stating that the child is in good mental and physical health and is capable of performing labor without injury to his health and mental development

Also, if a minor will be working inthe entertainment industry, they must obtain a specific entertainment work permit.

Missouri Division of Labor Standards – Work Certificates


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Missouri, employers are not required to provide all employees with meal and rest breaks.

MO Department of Labor & Industry Relations – Youth Employment

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