Nebraska Child Labor Laws


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Nebraska 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 Nebraska. 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 Nebraska child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

  • working a caddy on a golf course
  • working for a parent’s business where the parent directly supervises the youth
  • at least 12 years old and working as a detasseler during the months of June, July, and August with some exceptions

NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors


What days can a minor work in Nebraska?

Nebraska child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Nebraska. However, Nebraska rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors


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

The times during a day a minor may work in Nebraska 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, Nebraska 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, Nebraska child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they work to 6 a.m. to 10 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?6 a.m. to 10 p.m.6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What times can a 15-year-old work?6 a.m. to 10 p.m.6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What times can a 16-year-old work?No restrictionNo restriction
What times can a 17-year-old work?No restrictionNo restriction

NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors

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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Nebraska 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 Nebraska child labor laws, children that are 14-years-old and 15-years-old may work no more than 8 hours a workday.

Max Hours Work Each DaySchool daysNon-school days
How many hours can a 14-year-old work each day?88
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?88
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

NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors

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

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

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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 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?4848
How many hours can a 15-year-old work each day?4848
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

NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors

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

In Nebraska, according to the FLSA, youth 14 years old and older may work in the following jobs.

office and clerical work, including operating office machinesintellectual or artistically creative work such as, but not limited to, computer programming, writing software, teaching or tutoring, serving as a peer counselor or teacher’s assistant, singing, playing a musical instrument, and drawing (artistically creative work is limited to work in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor)cooking with electric or gas grills so long as it does not require cooking over an open flame or cooking with deep fryers so long as the fryer utilizes a device that automatically lowers and raises the basket(s) into and out of the hot oil or grease (this provision does not permit youth who are 14 and 15 years old to cook with equipment such as rotisseries, broilers, pressurized equipment, and cooking devices that operate at extremely high temperatures)
casheringsellingmodeling
art workwork in advertising departmentswindow trimming
comparative shoppingprice marking and tagging by hand or machineassembling orders
packingshelvingbagging and carrying out customers’ orders
errand and delivery work by foot, bicycle, and public transportationclean up work, including the use of vacuum cleaners and floor waxersgrounds maintenance, not including the use of power-driven mowers, cutters, trimmers, edgers, or similar equipment
kitchen work involved in preparing and serving food and beverages, including operating machines and devices such as dishwashers, toasters, dumbwaiters, popcorn poppers, milk shake blenders, coffee grinders, automatic coffee machines, warmers, steam tables, heat lamps, and microwave ovens that do not have the capacity to warm above 140 degrees fahrenheit (minors are permitted to enter freezers momentarily to retrieve items in conjunction with restocking or food preparation)cleaning kitchen equipment, including removing oil or grease filters, pouring oil through filters, and moving receptacles containing hot grease or hot oil so long as the equipment, surfaces, containers, and liquids do not exceed a temperature of 100 degrees fahrenheit.cleaning vegetables and fruit
wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stocking items, including vegetables, fruits, and meats, when performed in areas physically separate from a freezer or meat coolerloading onto and unloading from motor vehicles light, non-power-driver, hand tools, personal protective equipment, and other equipment that will be used in the youth’s employment on a work site, such as rakes, hand-held clippers, shovels, and broom, backpacks, lunch boxes, and clothing. Items a 14 or 15-year-old would not be able to unload include trash, sales kits, promotion items, items for sale, lawn mowers, power-driven lawn maintenance equipment, barriers, cones, or signageperforming lifeguard duties (only applies to 15 year olds; 14 year olds are not permitted to perform lifeguard duties)
work inside and outside places of business where machinery is used to process wood products (only applies to 14 or 15 year old youth who by statute of judicial order are exempt from compulsory school attendance beyond 8th grade)work in conjunction with cars and truck, so long as the work is confined to: dispensing gasoline and oil, courtesy service, car cleaning, washing, and polishing by handwork in conjunction with riding in motor vehicles except where prohibited by 29 CFR 570.33(f) or when a significant reason, although not necessarily the primary reason, for the minor being a passenger is for the purpose of performing work in transporting people or property.

In Nebraska, under the FLSA, youth under 16 years old may not work in the following jobs, except except when serving a voluntary apprenticeship, work-training program, or student-learner program..

manufacturing, including occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or places where goods are manufacturedmining, including occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or places where goods are minedprocessing, including occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or places where goods are processed
operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing hoisting apparatuswork in or around boiler or engine rooms or in connection with maintaining or repairing the establishment, machines, or equipmentoperating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing power-driven machinery, including but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers
operating motor vehicles or serving as a helper on a motor vehicleriding on a motor vehicle except in those cases where is explicitly permitted (see above)outside window washing if it involves working from window sills
work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or similar equipmentbaking and cooking activities except in those cases explicitly permitted (see above)working in freezers and meat coolers, unless it is only momentarily to retrieve items (see above)
preparing meats for sale except in those cases explicitly permitted (see above)youth peddlingloading and unloading of goods or property onto or from motor vehicles, railroad cars, or conveyors, except the loading and unloading of personal non-power-driven hand tools, personal protective equipment, and personal items to and from motor vehicles
catching and cooping of poultry in preparation for transport or for marketpublic messenger serviceoccupations in connection with transporting people or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other means, except office work (including ticket office) or sales work if it does not involve performing any duties on trains, motor vehicles, aircraft, vessels, or other media of transportation
occupations in connection with warehousing and storage, except office work or sales workoccupations in connection with communications and public utilities. except office work or sales workoccupations in connection with construction, including demolition and repair, except office work or sales work if it does not involve performing duties at the actual site of construction operations.

In Nebraska, under the FLSA, youth under 18 years old may not work in the following hazardous jobs except when serving a voluntary apprenticeship, work-training program, or student-learner program.

NE Statutes 48-301 to 48-313, NE Department of Labor – Employment of Minors, FLSA


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

Nebraska child labor laws allow 14-15 year old workers to obtain an employment certificate (work permit), however, the certificate is intended to be used by the youth’s school superintendents in designated public and private school districts. The employment certificate may not be used by the general public for any reason other than information purposes.


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Nebraska, employers are required to provide employees in assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops a 30-minute lunch period in each shift of at least eight (8) hours. NE Statute 48-212 to 48-213. For all other businesses, such lunch periods or any other type of break are given solely at the discretion of the employer regardless of the length of the work shift. These rules would apply to youth workers.

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