South Carolina Child Labor Laws


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South Carolina 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 South Carolina. 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 South Carolina child labor law rules and limitations.

How old do you have to be to work in South Carolina?

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

  • work in any aspect of show business, such as acting or performing in a theatrical, television, radio, or film production
  • 12 and 13 may work during non-school sessions in non-hazardous farm jobs with written parental consent
  • 12 and 13 may engage in farm labor at any agricultural establishment at which the minor’s parents are employed
  • work in any business or establishment which is 100 percent owned and operated by the parent of the minor

SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


What days can a minor work in South Carolina?

South Carolina child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in South Carolina. However, South Carolina rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


What times during the day can a minor work in South Carolina?

The times during a day a minor may work in South Carolina 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, South Carolina 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, South Carolina 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

SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


How many hours can a minor work each day in South Carolina?

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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

SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


How many hours can a minor work each week in South Carolina?

For youth that are 16-years-old and 17-years-old, South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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

SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, 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 South Carolina, 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.

SC Statutes 41-13-5 to 41-13-60, SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – Child Labor


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

South Carolina 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 South Carolina, employers are not required to give youth workers rest or meal breaks. SC Dept. of Labor FAQs.

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