Youth Employment laws protect minors from working in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
They also ensure that work does not compromise the education of minors. These laws include:. Employers who employ minors youths under 18 years old must ensure that working conditions meet the requirements of all four areas. The information in this booklet should not be considered as official statements or interpretations of the law. Businesses may be covered by Maine youth employment laws, federal youth employment laws, or both. When both federal and state laws apply, employers must follow the law that provides the most protection for the minor.
Employers can learn if federal laws cover their businesses and obtain information on federal laws from:. By understanding and complying with the rules governing the employment of minors, employers, teachers, and parents can help ensure teens have safe and positive work experiences. The Maine Department of Labor can help with information and training on the employment of minors.
Each employer must display, where workers can see it, a poster that summarizes child labor laws. The poster is available free from the Maine Department of Labor and can be downloaded and printed from the Maine Department of Labor web : www.
Minors under 16 years old must obtain a work permit before beginning a job. This includes home-schoolers. They must get a new permit every time they begin a new job until they reach 16 years old, even if they work for their parents. Employers must have a stamped, approved work permit on file before allowing any minor under 16 years old to work. Once the minor has the promise of a job, she or he must take proof of age to the office of the superintendent of schools.
Parental permission is required to work. A copy of the Maine Work Permit Form can be downloaded here. The Department will review the permit to ensure that the minor is of legal age to work at the business and that the occupation is not hazardous. The Department of Labor issues permits for specific jobs with specific employers. Permits are not transferable to other jobs or employers.
A minor under 16 needs a separate work permit for each place he or she works. A minor can have one active permit during the school year and two during the summer. Upon leaving a job, the minor or the employer should return the employer copy of the permit to the Department of Labor so that it can be deactivated. Employers must keep daily time records for minors. The records must show what time the minor began work, total hours worked, and what time the minor finished for the day. Child labor laws specify how early, how late and how long minors can work. See below for details. Federal law does not limit work hours for and year olds.
Maine law states at what age minors may work in specific industries. Minimum ages under Federal law are different.
Contact the U. Effective Date: August 21, Coverage: These rules apply to all nonagricultural employment and nonemployment situations. Non-employment situations include, but are not limited to, legitimate training and volunteer programs that ensure the safety and wellbeing of minors.
These rules do not apply to minors in public and approved private schools where mechanical equipment is installed and operated primarily for the purpose of instruction. Minors under the age of 16 may not be employed in the following occupations:. Minors who are 16 and 17 years old may not be employed in the following occupations:. Exceptions: year olds can handle liquor for example, stocking and carrying but not serve or sell it and year olds can serve or sell liquor if a supervisor 21 or older is present, 14 year olds may only bus tables.
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For more information, call Liquor Enforcement at Under certain conditions, apprentices and student learners may work at the following prohibited occupations:. The minimum age laws and prohibited occupations rules apply whether the work is paid or voluntary. Minors do not need work permits for volunteer work. The hourly limitations do not apply to volunteer work. However, the Maine Department of Labor recommends that minors who volunteer be kept to the same hourly limitations as minors who work for pay. Students are placed in businesses. A school coordinator evaluates and grades them on pre-ased job duties and training tasks.
Under Maine law, the hours worked in these types of programs are not counted against the hourly restrictions set for youth under the age of Federal laws are more restrictive for minors under the age of 16, regardless of school programs. When a school-to-work placement is an employment situation, the conditions are the same as for cooperative education programs. To qualify as an unpaid training situation or an unpaid internship, the following primary beneficiary test must be used:.
The primary beneficiary test is a flexible test and no single factor is determinative. Whether an intern or student is an employee necessarily depends on the unique circumstances of each case. Minimum age and prohibited occupation coverage apply whether or not it is an employment situation.
In most instances, an employment relationship exists when a person is allowed to perform work. When there is a difference between State and Federal law regarding child labor, the law that provides the most protection to the minor takes precedence. In most cases, Maine child labor laws provide more protection than Federal law. Several situations where Federal law is more protective than Maine law are noted in this guide.
The U. Employers must maintain safe and healthful work environments. State of Maine and Federal occupational safety and health regulations apply to employees regardless of age.
Employers must train all employees about the hazards of their jobs and how to do their jobs safely. The law applies only if the employee tells the employer about the problem and allows time for it to be fixed or if the employee has good reason to believe the employer will not correct the problem. Unemployment insurance law provides for payment of benefits to qualified workers during periods of unemployment regardless of age.
Employers can ask workers to take drug tests if Federal law requires it or if the company has a drug policy approved by the Maine Department of Labor. Those who apply for jobs may be tested only if they are offered work or are placed on a waiting list for a job.
Employers who test under the law must give those tested a copy of the policy prior to the test. Can a or year old who has quit school work more than four hours per day or 20 hours per week? If the year-old minor has been allowed to drop out of school, the hourly restrictions no longer apply.
If a year-old minor is no longer enrolled in school, the hourly restrictions no longer apply. The employer should obtain a letter from the superintendent of schools stating that the child is no longer enrolled in school and, if under 17, that he or she has been waived from compulsory education laws. If a or year-old minor is working toward a High School Equivalency Diploma, are his or her working hours restricted when school is in session? Again, the employer should get written confirmation from the superintendent that the minor has been allowed to drop out of school.
Do child labor laws apply to year olds who are still in high school?
Once a minor turns 18, none of the child labor laws apply, even if the person is still a student. Are the child labor laws any different if you are hiring your own son or daughter? Work permit requirements, hours limitations and prohibited occupations rules apply even when hiring family members.
Do OSHA regulations apply to minors? OSHA regulations apply to workers regardless of age. If an employer complies with Maine law, does that guarantee compliance with Federal law, or vice versa? Not in all cases.
The law that is most restrictive and protects the employee the most is the one that applies.
Can or year olds have more than one job? They are allowed one work permit during the school year and two in the summer. If a or year old changes jobs, does he or she need a new work permit? A work permit is valid only for the occupation and business for which it is approved. The employer must keep the approved copy of the work permit on file.