Montana Child Labor Laws


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Montana 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 Montana. 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 Montana child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

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

in an agricultural occupation not otherwise prohibited by this part and who has received written consent from the minor’s parents or a person standing in place of the parent who works on a farm or ranch where the parent or person is also employedin domestic service or an agricultural pursuit performed outside school hours in connection with a home or a farm owned or operated by the minor’s parent or by a person standing in place of the parentby the parent or a person standing in place of the parent
during periods of school vacations on a campsite of a nonprofit corporation engaged in citizenship training and character buildingas an actor, model, or performeroutside school hours by a home owner in casual work usual to the home of the home owner and not in connection with the home owner’s business, trade, or profession
by the legislature as a legislative aide or pagein the distribution or sale of or in the collection for newspapers, periodicals, or circularsas an official or referee for a nonprofit athletic organization. A minor who is under the age of 14 may not officiate at adult events or activities

MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws


What days can a minor work in Montana?

Montana child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Montana. However, Montana rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws


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

The times during a day a minor may work in Montana 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, Montana 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, Montana 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

MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws, see also FLSA


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

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

Moreover, under Montana child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 3 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?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

MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws, see also FLSA


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

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

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

MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Montana?

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

the distribution or sale of or in the collection for newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or circularsoffice and clerical work, including the operation of an office machinecashiering, selling, modeling, art work, work in an advertising department, window trimming, and comparative shopping
price marking and tagging by hand or by machine, assembling orders, packing, and shelvingbagging and carrying out a customer’s ordererrand and delivery work by foot, bicycle, or public transportation
cleanup work, including the use of a vacuum cleaner and a floor waxer, and maintenance of grounds, but not including the use of a power-driven mower or cutterkitchen work and other work involved in preparing and serving food and beverages, including the operation of machines and devices used in the performance of the work, which may include but are not limited to a dishwasher, toaster, dumbwaiter, popcorn popper, milkshake blender, and coffee grinderwork in connection with cars and trucks if confined to dispensing gasoline and oil; courtesy service; car cleaning, washing, and polishing; but not including work involving the use of a pit, a rack, or a lifting apparatus or involving the inflation of a tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable ring

In Montana, youth under 16 years old may not work in the following jobs, except as part of a regular work-training program.

a manufacturing occupationa processing occupation, including but not limited to filleting fish, dressing poultry, cracking nuts, or laundering and drycleaningan occupation that requires the performance of duties in a workroom or workplace where goods are manufactured, mined, or processed
the operation or tending of a hoisting apparatus or of power-driven machinerytransporting persons or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other meanswarehousing and storage
communication and public utilitiesconstruction or repairwork performed in or around a boiler or an engine room
work in connection with the maintenance or the repair of an establishment, machine, or equipmentoutside window washing that involves working from windowsills and all work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutes at a height of more than 20 feetan occupation that involves operating, assembling, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppers and cutters, or bakery-type mixers
work in freezers and meat coolers and all work preparing meat for sale, except wrapping, scaling, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stacking when performed in other areasloading or unloading goods to and from a truck, railroad car, or conveyoran occupation in a warehouse, except for office or clerical work
agricultural occupations that are particularly hazardous unless otherwise exempt or working as a student-learner.

In Montana, youth under 18 years old may not work in the following jobs except when serving a voluntary apprenticeship.

manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive componentslogging and the operation of a sawmill, lath mill, or shingle millthe operation of power-driven woodworking machines
an occupation involving exposure to a radioactive substance or ionizing radiationthe operation of a freight elevator, except for a freight elevator permitted for use under the child labor provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, or other power-driven hoisting apparatusthe operation of a power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machine
a mining occupationslaughtering, meatpacking, meat processing, or renderingthe operation of a power-driven bakery machine
the operation of a power-driven paper products machinethe manufacture of brick, tile, or similar productsthe operation of a circular saw, bandsaw, or guillotine shears
a wrecking or demolition operationan excavation operationa roofing operation
riding outside a motor vehicle to assist in transporting or delivering goodsa coal mining operation

MT Statutes 41-2-102 to 41-02-118, MT Department of Labor and Industry – Child Labor Laws, see also FLSA


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

Montana child labor laws do not require teens under 18 years old to to obtain an employment certificate (work permit) in order to work in the state.

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?

In Montana, employers are not required to give youth workers rest or meal breaks.

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