Topic:
HOURS OF WORK; LABOR (GENERAL); JUVENILES; CHILD LABOR;
Location:
JUVENILES - EMPLOYMENT;

OLR Research Report


November 1, 2004

 

2004-R-0814

WORK RESTRICTIONS FOR 16- AND 17-YEAR-OLDS

By: John Moran, Associate Analyst

You asked how Connecticut law restricts the hours and type of employment available to 16- and 17-year-olds and what the restrictions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are.

SUMMARY

The hours that 16- and 17-years-olds are permitted to work depend on the kind of jobs they have and their high school status. The restrictions (1) are greatest for those attending high school, (2) are less for those not attending school and have not graduated, and (3) do not apply to high school graduates. (Restrictions are greater for minors under age 16.)

All of the restrictions summarized in this report are state law. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also restricts the employment of minors under age 18, but state law on the same subject controls if it is stricter than the federal law. According to the Labor Department's Wage Enforcement Division, the hour limits in state law are more restrictive (i.e. protective of the worker) than those in the FLSA. For more information see: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/youth/employment.htm.

CONNECTICUT WORK RESTRICTIONS FOR 16- AND 17-YEAR-OLDS

Manufacturing and Mechanical Establishments

Table 1 describes the restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds who work in manufacturing or mechanical establishments.

Table 1: Restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds Working in Manufacturing and Mechanical Establishments

 

In school

Not graduated & not in school

Graduated

Daily

May work up to 6 hours a day while school is in session; 8 hours a day when school is out*

Up to 9 hours a day

Same as adults

Weekly

Up to 32 hours a week while school in session; up to 48 hours a week when school is out

Up to 48 hours a week

Same as adults

*The youth may work an 8-hour shift on a school day if the school day is followed by a non-school day.

There are exceptions to these restrictions. If the minor works fewer than five days a week, his daily work hours can be extended so he works the full 32-hour or 48-hour weekly maximum (depending upon his school status). But in such a case, he must work the same number of hours each day.

The hours a student participates in work that is part of an approved educational plan, cooperative program, or school-to-work program are not counted against the daily or weekly hour limits.

Furthermore, in an emergency or at a peak season, with the labor commissioner's permission, hours can be increased to 10 per day and 55 per week for up to 12 weeks a year (CGS 31-12).

Mercantile Establishments

Table 2 describes the restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds who work in mercantile establishments (i.e. retail and commercial businesses).

Table 2: Restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds Working

in Mercantile Establishments

 

In school

Not graduated & not in school

Graduated

Daily

May work up to 6 hours a day while school is in session; 8 hours a day when school is out*

Up to 8 hours a day

Same as adults

Weekly

Up to 32 hours a week while school in session; up to 48 hours a week when school is out

Up to six working days a week for up to 48 hours a week

Same as adults

*The youth may work an 8-hour shift on a school day if the school day is followed by a non-school day.

The hours a student participates in work that is part of an approved educational plan, cooperative program, or school-to-work program is not counted against the daily or weekly hour limits.

The labor commissioner may waive the limits in an emergency or peak season for up to eight weeks a year. During these peak times, a minor may work 10 hours per day and 52 hours per week. None of these limits applies to salaried executives, administrators, and supervisors (CGS 31-13).

Night Work

In general, 16- and 17-year-olds may not work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. But they can work in manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile establishments until 11 p.m. or in a supermarket until midnight if there is no school the next day. Supermarkets are food stores with at least 3,500 square feet of retail space. Those under 18 who have graduated from high school are not subject to these restrictions (CGS 31-14).

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may not work for telegraph or messenger services between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The limits do not apply to services in cities with populations of 20,000 or less or to high school graduates (CGS 31-16).

Hours and Night Work at Certain Other Establishments

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who work in public restaurants, cafes, or dining rooms; barber, hairdressers', or manicurists' shops; amusement or recreational establishments; bowling alleys; shoeshine parlors; billiard and pool rooms; and photo galleries may not, in general, work more than nine hours a day or between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. But they may work up to 10 hours one day in the week as long as they work no more than six days or 48 hours per week.

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who are attending school and work in one of the aforementioned establishments generally may not work more than six hours in a school day or more than eight hours in a non-school day. They may work eight hours on a school day that is followed by a non-school day. They may not work more than 32 hours in a school week and may work up to 48 hours in a non-school week. The hours a student works as part of an approved educational plan, cooperative program, or school-to-work program is not counted against the daily or weekly hour limits.

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who are not attending school may work in a public restaurants, cafes, or dining rooms; amusement or recreational establishments; and theaters until 12 midnight. If they are going to school, they may work in such places until 11 p.m. on school nights and to 12 midnight on other nights.

A 16- or 17-year-old who has graduated from high school does not have any of these work restrictions (CGS 31-18).

MASSACHUSETTS RESTRICTIONS

In Massachusetts 16- and 17-year-olds generally can work for up to nine hours a day, up to six days a week, and up to 48 hours a week. They cannot work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in restaurants and racetracks where they may work until midnight on Friday, Saturday and days when school in not in session the following day.

RHODE ISLAND RESTRICTIONS

No 16- or 17-year-old can work more than 48 hours in any one week while attending school. They cannot work more than nine hours in any day, unless the 48 hours weekly maximum is worked in five days. In that case, the minor may work nine and 3/5 hours per day. These weekly and daily restrictions do not apply during school vacations when 16- and 17-year-olds are treated the same as adults for hours and overtime.

Any 16- and 17-year-old worker who is in school may not work between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day if that day is a school day. When no classes are scheduled, the curfew begins at 1:30 a.m. Any 16- and 17-year-old worker who is no longer in school does not have a curfew restriction.

FLSA RESTRICTIONS

Under the FLSA, 16- and 17-year-olds can work in any job that is not declared hazardous. There are 17 hazardous jobs young workers are prohibited from doing. These include mining, meatpacking or processing, using power-driven bakery machines or paper product machines, roofing, and excavation operations. Most driving is prohibited.

For more information see: http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm.

JM:ro