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New York Child Labor

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Both state and federal law restrict the employment of minors. When state child labor laws differ from federal provisions, an employer must comply with the higher standard. State child labor standards are presented below.

Work Permits & Recordkeeping

Individuals under 18 (“minors”) must show an employment certificate (“working papers”) before they may begin work. School officials issue all working papers, except for child performer permits. The type of certificate issued will depend on the minor’s age and the type of work performed.

An employer must keep working papers on file, at the location where the minor is employed, for as long as the minor remains employed. Upon termination of employment, the papers must be returned to the minor.

Employers must make a schedule—which shows the hours minors start and end work and time allotted for meals—for all minors and post it where workers can see it. The employer can change the hours of work, as long as it posts the changes on the schedule. Minors may work only on the days and at the times posted on the schedule.

Restrictions on Time & Hours Worked

The following chart provides a general overview of the permitted working hour provisions of New York state law relating to minors under 18 years of age. Note that minors of any age may not work during school hours, unless they have graduated or withdrawn from school.

Click here and here to view exceptions to the chart.

 Ages 14 and 15Ages 16 and 17
When School is in SessionMaximum Daily Hours: 3 hours on school days; 8 hours on other daysMaximum Weekly Hours: 18 hoursMaximum Days per Week: 6Permitted Hours: 7 AM to 7 PMMaximum Daily Hours: 4 hours on days preceding school days (i.e., Mon., Tues., Weds., Thurs.); 8 hours on Fri., Sat., Sun., and HolidaysMaximum Weekly Hours: 28 hoursMaximum Days per Week: 6Permitted Hours: 6 AM to 10 PM
When School is Not in SessionMaximum Daily Hours: 8 hoursMaximum Weekly Hours: 40 hoursMaximum Days per Week: 6Permitted Hours: 7 AM to 9 PM June 21 to Labor DayMaximum Daily Hours: 8 hoursMaximum Weekly Hours: 48 hoursMaximum Days per Week: 6Permitted Hours: 6 AM to MidnightThe hours/days for minors aged 16 and 17 not attending school are the same as those listed above.

Note: To work between 10 PM and midnight on a day before a school day, 16- and 17-year olds need written permission from a parent or guardian and a certificate of satisfactory academic standing from their school.

Restrictions on Duties Performed

New York regulates the duties that minors can perform. Click here for a list of state-prohibited occupations for minors under 16 and for minors under 18.

Additional requirements and exceptions may apply. Click here for more information from the New York State Department of Labor.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

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