Alabama Child Labor Laws – 16 and 17 Year Olds

Alabama child labor laws have provisions specifically directed to 16 and 17 year olds, including restrictions on what times during a day 16 and 17 year olds may work, how many hours in a week they many work, and what jobs or occupations they may perform. The restrictions on the employment of 16 and 17 year olds under Alabama’s child labor laws are discussed below.

Child Labor Certificate

Alabama child labor laws require employers who wish to employ 16 and 17-year-olds, except in agricultural services, to obtain a Class II Child Labor Certificate from the Alabama Department of Labor before employing any 14 or 15-year-old youth. The certificate authorizes the employer to employ 14 and 15-year-olds in conformance with the requirements of Alabama’s child labor laws and costs $15. An employer who employs a 14 or 15-year-old without a Class I Child Labor Certificate will be subject to a $50 penalty. AL Code 25-8-45(f), (g), (h)(3)

Prohibited occupations

Alabama child labor laws allow employers to employ youth who are 16 and 17 years old may work most jobs. However, they may not employ 16 and 17-year-olds in occupations that are hazardous or dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of the youth, except in the limited situations discussed below. The following is a list of occupations that Alabama has determined fall within the category of prohibited occupations for 16 and 17-year-olds:

  • in connection with any mine, coke breaker, coke oven, or quarry in any capacity
  • wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking
  • in tunnels or excavations with a depth of four feet or more
  • in any roofing, scaffolding, or sandblasting operation
  • operating or driving a truck or heavy equipment over three tons gross weight
  • in logging
  • around any sawmill, lath mill, shingle, or cooperage-stock mill
  • operating power-driven woodworking machinery
  • operating power-driven bakery machinery
  • operating power-driven paper-products machinery
  • upon steam, electric, diesel, hydraulic, or other railroad
  • as a firefighter
  • operating stamping machines used in sheet metal or tin ware
  • operating stamping machines usedin paper or leather manufacturing
  • operating stamping machines used in washer or nut factories
  • in or around steam boiler or rolling mill machinery
  • operating any power-driven metal forming, cutting, straightening, drawing, punching, or shearing machines
  • operating or assisting in operating power-driven hoisting apparatus, including elevators, open-freight elevators, cranes, and derricks, with the exception of an unattended automatic passenger elevator
  • operating any paper cutting, stapling, corrugating, or punching machines
  • assembling, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or servicing machinery in motion
  • operating circular saws, band saws, or guillotine shears
  • in or around a distillery where alcoholic beverages are manufactured, bottled, wrapped, or packed
  • in the manufacture, storage, or transportation of explosive components
  • in the manufacturing of brick, tile, or similar products
  • in the manufacture or transportation of dangerous or toxic chemicals or compounds
  • in, about, or in connection with, poisonous dyes, dangerous or poisonous gases, compositions of lye in dangerous quantities, dangerous or poisonous acids, or pesticides
  • in any activity involving exposure to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation
  • around asbestos or any other cancer-causing agents
  • operating or assisting in operating any job, cylinder, or offset printing presses
  • in any activity involving slaughtering, butchering, and meat cutting
  • n any place or occupation which the Alabama Department of Labor may declare dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of youth under 18 years of age

AL Code 25-8-43(a)


Employers may employ 16 and 17-year-olds in the prohibited occupations listed above if the youth are enrolled in work-study, student-learner, cooperative education, or similar programs in which the work performed is an integral part of the course of study. The work-study, student-learner, cooperative education, or similar program must be registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers may also employ 16 and 17-year-old youth if the employment is procured and supervised through the Alabama Department of Education and approved by the Alabama Department of Labor. AL Code 25-8-43(b)

Establishments that sell alcoholic beverages

Establishments that sell, serve, or dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may not employ 16 and 17-year-old youth to serve or dispense alcoholic beverages. The youth may be employed to work as busboys, dishwashers, janitors, cooks, hostesses, or seaters restricted to leading patrons to seats. They may also work as professional entertainers. AL Code 25-8-44(b)