Oklahoma Child Labor Laws


Oklahoma stamp

Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

  • work on farms
  • work for parents or any entity in which a parent owns an equity interest
  • sale or delivery of newspapers to consumers
  • voluntary service for a charitable organization recognized exempt under the Internal Revenue Code

OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU)


What days can a minor work in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Oklahoma. However, Oklahoma rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU)


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

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

OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU), see also FLSA


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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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

OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU), see also FLSA


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

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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?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

OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU), see also FLSA


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Oklahoma?

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

constructioncooking or bakingfryers or grills
hoisting devicesladders or scaffoldslawn mowers and weed eaters other than working for self
loading and unloadingmanufacturing, mining, or processingmotor vehicles or service as helpers on vehicles
power-driven machines or equipmentpublic messenger servicepublic utilities or communications
slicers or sharp knivestransportation of persons or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline or other meanswarehousing or storage

OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU)

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.

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.


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

Oklahoma child labor laws require 14-15 year old workers to obtain an work permit (employment certificate of age and schooling). To start the process, the minor must contact the principal, headmaster, or equivalent officer of the school they attend (the parent of home-schooled children are the issuing officer). The authorized school officer will provide the teen the work permit form that must be completed by the teen, their parent or guardian, and the prospective employer. OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU)


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Oklahoma, employers are required to provide 14 and 15-year-old minors with a unpaid meal period lasting 30 minutes or more if the minor works 5 consecutive hours in a shift or at least 8 consecutive hour breaks between shifts. Oklahoma does not require employers to provide 16 or 17-year-olds rest or meal breaks. OK Statutes 40-71 to 40-89, OK Department of Labor – Child Labor Unit (CLU)

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