New Jersey Child Labor Laws


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New Jersey 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 New Jersey. 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 New Jersey child labor law rules and limitations.

How old do you have to be to work in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey child labor laws, youth must be 12-years-old or older to get a job and work in New Jersey. However, the types of jobs youth may work may be limited based on their age. For example, 12 and 13-year-olds have very limited types of jobs they can have while 16 and 17-year-olds have the most freedom regarding the jobs they can work.

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers


What days can a minor work in New Jersey?

New Jersey child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Missouri. However, youth may work no more than 6 days per workweek. Also, Missouri rules limit the times during a day a minor may work.

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers


What times during the day can a minor work in New Jersey?

The times during a day a minor may work in New Jersey 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, New Jersey child labor laws restrict the times during the day in which they may work depending whether school is in session, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. except 6 a.m. until 12 a.m. on days not following a school day (including Fridays and Saturdays), or not in session, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. The only except to this rule is during non-school weeks, 16 and 17-year-olds who work in a restaurant or seasonal amusements may work during 6 a.m. and the following 3 a.m.

For youth that are 14-years-old and 15-years old, New Jersey child labor laws 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.

For youth that are 12-years-old and 13-years old, New Jersey child labor laws 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 7 p.m.

AgeSchool Weeks
(Labor Day to Last Day of School)
Non-School Weeks
(Last Day of School to Labor Day)
What times can a 12-year-old work?7 a.m. until 7 p.m.7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
What times can a 13-year-old work?7 a.m. until 7 p.m.7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
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?6 a.m. until 11 p.m. except
6 a.m. until 12 a.m. on days not following a school day
6 a.m. until 12 a.m.
What times can a 17-year-old work?6 a.m. until 12 a.m. except
6 a.m. until 12 a.m. on days not following a school day
6 a.m. until 12 a.m.

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers

The FLSA also restricts the times during the day in which they 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. An employer must apply the more strict time restriction between New Jersey and federal child labor laws to any youth working for them.

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 New Jersey?

Under New Jersey child labor laws, children that are 16 years old and 17 years old may work no more than 8 hours on a day when the follow day with be a school day. If the following day is not a school day, 16 year olds and 17 year olds may work no more than 10 hours on a day.

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

Moreover, under New Jersey child labor laws, children that are 12-years-old and 12-years-old may work no more than 3 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.

AgeMax Hours Work Each Day
(Follow day is a school day)
Max Hours Work Each Day
(Follow day is not a school day)
How many hours can a 12-year-old work each day?38
How many hours can a 13-year-old work each day?38
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?810
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?810

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers

Federal child labor laws have more strict rules than New Jersey 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 New Jersey?

Under New Jersey child labor laws, children that are 16 years old and 17 years old may work no more than 8 hours on a day when the follow day with be a school day. If the following day is not a school day, 16 year olds and 17 year olds may work no more than 10 hours on a day.

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

Moreover, under New Jersey child labor laws, children that are 12-years-old and 13-years-old may work no more than 3 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 Worked WorkweekSchool WeeksNon-School Weeks
How many hours can a 12-year-old work each day?1840
How many hours can a 13-year-old work each day?1840
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?4050
How many hours can a 17-year-old work each day?4050

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers

Also, under federal child labor laws under the FLSA, 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 WeekSchool 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

What kinds of jobs can a minor work in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, youth 12 years old and older may work in the following jobs.

Newspaper delivery over residential routes. (may start at 11 years of age)Nursery workForestry
Farming in all of its branchesRaising of livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals or poultryTheatrical productions (no minimum age limit)
Gardening

In New Jersey, in addition to the jobs for 12-year-olds and older, youth 14 years old and older may work in the following jobs.

Clerical and office jobs in industrial wholesale, retail, service, and professional establishmentsNewspaper and magazine delivery over non-residential routesStandard domestic type machine operators
Hotel jobsRestaurant jobsHospital and health agency jobs
Sales personsSoda fountain jobsLibrary attendants
SolicitorsMercantile store jobsProfessional assistants
CollectorsSupermarket and food store jobsCounselors at camps, beach attendants, lifeguards, caddies, pinsetters
DistributorsAmusement industry jobsDomestic helpers, maids, cooks, cleaners, baby-sitters, janitors
DemonstratorsStandard office type machine operatorsSingers, models, entertainers, dancers, and theatrical work
Delivery jobs other than with a motor vehicle

In New Jersey, in addition to the jobs for 12-year-olds and older, youth 16 years old and older may work in the following jobs.

Factory machine operators Mechanic jobsEgg graders
Power lawn mower operatorsDomestic type machines or appliancesEgg washers
Power tool operatorsStandard office machinesEgg coolers
Tractor operatorsStandard types of poultry feedersMilking machines
Machinery operators

However, minors under 16 years may not use other power-driven machinery such as:

Power toolsPower woodworkingPower-driven meat slicing
Power lawn mowersPower metal worker toolsPower-driven meat grinding machines or conveyors

In New Jersey, children under the age of 18 may not engaging in any of the following occupations, establishments, or activities:

Paints, colors, white and red lead (manufacture and packing only)Punch presses and stamping machines with over 1/4-inch clearanceMines and quarries
Dangerous or poisonous acids and dyesGuillotine action cutting machinesEstablishments where alcoholic liquors are distilled, rectified, compounded, brewed, manufactured, bottled, or sold for consumption on the premises
Injurious quantities of toxic or noxious dust, gases, vapors, or fumesCorrugating, crimping, or embossing machinesPool and billiard rooms
Benzol or any benzol compound which is volatile, or which can penetrate the skinPaper lace machinesJunk and scrap metal yards
Explosives (manufacture, transportation or use only)Dough brakes or mixing machines in bakeries or cracker machineryDisorderly houses
Toxic and hazardous substancesCalendar rolls or mixing rolls in rubber manufacturingOiling, wiping, or cleaning machinery in motion or assisting therein
Radioactive substances and ionizing radiationCentrifugal extractors or mangles in laundries or dry-cleaning establishmentsSteam boilers carrying a pressure above 15 pounds
Carcinogenic substancesOperation or repair of elevators or other hoisting apparatus (they may operate the push button type)Construction work
Corrosive materialsCorn pickers, power-driven hay balers, or power field choppersFabrication or assembly of ships
Highly inflammable substancesCompactorsTransportation of payrolls off the employer’s premises
PesticidesCircular saws, band saws, guillotine shearsDemolition of buildings, ships, or heavy machinery
Power-driven woodworking machinery (supervised bona-fide apprentices may do this work)Ore reduction works, smelters, hot rolling mills, furnaces, foundries, forging shops or any other place in which the heating, melting, or heat treatment of metals is carried onIndecent or immoral exposure
Grinding, abrasive, polishing, or buffing machinesMost occupations in slaughtering, meat packing, processing, or rendering

The FLSA may have addition restrictions on the types of jobs employees under 18 years may have.

NJ Statute 34:21.1 to 64, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers, FLSA


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

New Jersey child labor laws require teens under 18 years old to a have an employment certificate (working papers or work permit) to work in New Jersey. Teens can apply for working papers online through the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In New Jersey, employers are required to provide minors with a unpaid meal period lasting 30 minutes or more if the minor works 6 consecutive hours in a shift. For more information, visit our NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development – Young Workers page.

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