Employers who hire young workers for agricultural jobs need to know the state regulations covering minors (workers under age 18). The following information answers many questions employers and young workers have about agricultural employment.
Topics covered include:
The minimum age for minor workers is 14. The one exception is: children age 12 and 13 are allowed to work only during non-school weeks hand-harvesting berries, bulbs, cucumbers and spinach.
All minors are prohibited from performing the following work:
Minors under age 16 are prohibited from performing certain hazardous work, including:
Workers are entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes if they work more than 5 hours in a day. They also are entitled to at least a 10-minute paid rest break for each 4 hours worked.
The minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-old workers is the same as for adults. Minors under 16 may be paid 85 percent of the state minimum wage.
Yes, but only if all three of the following requirements are met:
Hours and schedules minors are permitted to work in agricultural jobs
|Hours per day||Hours per week||Days per week||Begin||Quit|
|Non-School weeks||8 hours||40 hours||6 days||5 a.m.||9 p.m.|
|Note: 12- and 13-year olds are allowed to work only during non-school weeks hand-harvesting berries, bulbs, cucumbers, and spinach.|
|School weeks||3 hours||21 hours||6 days*||7 a.m. (6 a.m. in animal agriculture and irrigation)||8 p.m.|
|Non-school weeks||8 hours||40 hours||6 days*||5 a.m.||9 p.m.|
|*Exception: 14- and 15-year olds are allowed to work 7 days a week in dairy, livestock, hay harvest and irrigation during school and non-school weeks.|
|16-17 year- olds|
|School weeks||4 hours||28 hours||6 days*||5 a.m.||10 p.m. (No later than 9 p.m. on more than 2 consecutive nights before a school day.)|
|Non-school weeks||10 hours||50 hours (60 hours per week in mechanical harvest of peas, wheat and hay)||6 days*||5 a.m.||10 p.m.|
|*Exception: 16- and 17-year olds are allowed to work 7 days a week in dairy, livestock, hay harvest and irrigation during school and non-school weeks.|
Variances may be allowed for “good cause.” For example, to meet crop or harvest requirements or for weather emergencies, when the employer can show that the variance will not harm the minor’s health, safety, welfare and school performance.
Note: The child labor regulations do not apply to immediate family members of farm owners.
Yes! The Department of Labor & Industries can fine employers who do not follow these requirements.
Contact your local Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)
office or visit the L&I Web site at www.TeenWorkers.Lni.wa.gov.
Other formats for persons with disabilities are available on request. Call 1-800-547-8367. TDD users, call 360-902-5797. L&I is an equal opportunity employer.
Publication #: PUBLICATION F700-096-909 [07-2010]
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More