Virginia Child Labor Laws


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Virginia 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 Virginia. 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 Virginia child labor law rules and limitations.

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

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

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

domestic work in connection with the child’s own home and directly for his parent or a person standing in place of his parent12 and older as a page or clerk for either the House of Delegates or the Senate of Virginiaemployed by his parent in an occupation other than manufacturing
occasional work performed outside school hours in connection with the employer’s home but not in connection with the employer’s business, trade, or professionactivities of a volunteer emergency medical services agency12 years or older working as a referee for sports programs sponsored by that eleemosynary, state, or local organization or sponsored by an organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee
12 or 13 year-olds outside school hours on farms, in orchards or in gardens with the consent of his parent or a person standing in place of his parent

VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs


What days can a minor work in Virginia?

Virginia child labor laws do not limit the days of the week youth may work in Virginia. However, Virginia rules limit the times during a day a minor may work. VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs


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

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

VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs, see also FLSA


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

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

VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs, see also FLSA


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

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

VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs, see also FLSA


What kinds of jobs can a minor work in Virginia?

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

dry cleaning or laundry establishments in branch stores where no processing is done on the premisessoda fountainsgatekeepers
hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics where they may be engaged in kitchen work, tray service, or room and hall cleaningrestaurantsconcessions at swimming pools
bowling alleys completely equipped with automatic pin setters, but not in or about such machineshotel and motel food service departmentsconcessionaires operating on beaches where their duties and work pertain to the handling and distribution of beach chairs, umbrellas, floats, and other similar or related beach equipment
on farms, in gardens, or in orchards may perform work as a helper on a truck or commercial vehicle in their employment, while engaged in such work exclusively on a farm, in a garden, or in an orchardin office work of a clerical nature in bona fide office rooms in the otherwise prohibited establishments

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

in any manufacturing or mechanical establishmentin the service of any veterinarian while treating farm animals or horsesin hotel and motel room service
in any commercial canneryin any warehousein any brick, coal, or lumber yard or ice plant
in the operation of any automatic passenger or freight elevatorin processing work in any laundry or dry cleaning establishmentin ushering in theaters
in any dance studioin any undertaking establishment or funeral homein any curb service restaurant
in any hospital, nursing home, clinic, or other establishment providing care for resident patients as a laboratory helper, therapist, orderly, or nurse’s aidein any scaffolding work or construction tradein any outdoor theater, cabaret, carnival, fair, floor show, pool hall, club, or roadhouse
as a lifeguard at a beach

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

in any mine, quarry, tunnel, underground scaffolding workin or about any plant or establishment manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive componentsin any occupation involving exposure to radioactive substances or to ionizing radiations, including X-ray equipment
at operating or assisting to operate any grinding, abrasive, polishing, or buffing machineany power-driven metal forming, punching, or shearing machineany power-driven bakery machine
any power-driven paper products machineany circular saw, band saw, or guillotine shearany power-driven woodworking machine
in oiling or assisting in oiling, wiping, and cleaning any such machineryin any capacity in preparing any composition in which dangerous or poisonous chemicals are usedin any capacity in the manufacturing of paints, colors, white lead, or brick tile or kindred products
in any place where goods of alcoholic content are manufactured, bottled, or sold for consumption on the premises, except in places (i) licensed pursuant to subdivision 6 of § 4.1-206.1, provided that a child employed at the premises shall not serve or dispense in any manner alcoholic beverages or (ii) where the sale of alcoholic beverages is merely incidental to the main business actually conducted, or to deliver alcoholic goodsin any capacity in or about excavation, demolition, roofing, wrecking, or shipbreaking operationsas a driver or a helper on an automobile, truck, or commercial vehicle; however, children who are at least 17 years of age may drive automobiles or trucks on public roadways with some restrictions
in logging or sawmilling or in any lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage-stock millin any occupation determined and declared hazardous by rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry

VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs, see also FLSA


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

Virginia child labor laws require 14-15 year old workers to obtain an employment certificate (work permit). Youth may submit an employment certificate application the Virginia’s New Employment Certificate application site. Before a youth applies for an employment certificate, they must have a firm job offer from an employer.


Are youth workers entitled to rest breaks or meal breaks?

In Iowa, employers are required to provide minors with a unpaid meal period lasting 30 minutes or more if the minor works 5 consecutive hours in a shift. VA Statute 40.1-78 to 40.1-116, VA Department of Labor and Industry – Youth Employment Law FAQs

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