The FLSA covers employees whose work involves production of agricultural goods which will leave the state directly or indirectly and become a part of interstate commerce.
Youths ages 16 and above may work in any farm job at any time.
Youths aged 14 and 15 may work outside school hours in jobs not declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
Youths 12 and 13 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs on farms that also employ their parent(s) or with written parental consent.
Youths under 12 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs with parental consent, but only on farms where none of the employees are subject to the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA.
Local youths 10 and 11 may hand harvest short-season crops outside school hours for no more than 8 weeks between June 1 and October 15 if their employers have obtained special waivers from the Secretary of Labor.
Youths of any age may work at any time in any job on a farm owned or operated by their parents.
Minors under 16 may not work in the following occupations declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor:
The prohibition of employment in hazardous occupations does not apply to youths employed on farms owned or operated by their parents. In addition, there are some exemptions from the prohibitions:
Many states have laws setting standards for youth employment in agriculture. When both state and federal youth employment laws apply, the law setting the most stringent standard must be observed.
Investigators of the Wage and Hour Division who are stationed across the U.S. enforce the youth employment provisions of the FLSA. As the Secretary of Labor’s representatives, they have the authority to conduct investigations and gather data on wages, hours, and other employment conditions or practices in order to assess compliance with all the provisions of the FLSA.
An employer that violates the youth employment provisions may be subject to civil money penalties (CMPs). The amount of the CMP assessment, which may not exceed a cap set by statute, depends upon the application of statutory and regulatory factors to the specific circumstances of the case.
A CMP assessment for a violation that causes the death or serious injury of a minor is subject to a higher statutory cap.
For current maximum CMP amounts, please visit https://www.dol.gov/WHD/flsa/index.htm.
The FLSA prohibits the shipment in interstate commerce of goods that were produced in violation of the Act’s minimum wage, overtime, or youth employment provisions. The FLSA authorizes the Department of Labor to seek a court order enjoining the movement of such “hot goods.” The FLSA also authorizes the Department to obtain injunctions against violators of the youth employment provisions to compel their compliance with the law. Further violations could result in sanctions against such persons for contempt of court. Willful youth employment violators may face criminal prosecution and be fined up to $10,000. Under current law, a second conviction may result in imprisonment.
For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).
This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.
U.S. Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building 200
Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
1-866-4-USWAGE TTY: 1-866-487-9243
Publication #: Revised December 2016
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