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What are the employment restrictions for 16-year-olds?

| Oct 24, 2018 | Employment Law - Employees

If you are the parent of a 16-year-old in Virginia, the chances are good your child is ready to find a job and enter the workforce. As your child embarks upon this next step in life, you should understand the restrictions put in place by labor laws. The government wants to ensure your child is safe in the work environment and that your child is able to still attend school and handle school responsibilities in addition to working.

To do this, the state puts restrictions on the hours a 16-year-old may work. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry explains that your child has limited work hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on days when he or she attends school. For non-school days during summer break, those hours change to 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Your child can never work after curfew.

In addition to the start and end time restrictions, during the school year, your child may only work a total of three hours each school day. On non-school days, your child may work up to eight hours. Do note that if your child works five hours in a row, the employer must give him or her a 30-minute break.

In general, your child cannot work during the school day. However, a work-training agreement may allow your child to work during school hours.

There are also a lot of restrictions on where your child can work and what job duties your child may have. For example, your child cannot work in any hazardous occupation, such as logging, manufacturing, mining, demolition and construction. Some of the restrictions on job duties include no working with power tools, no driving on the job, no curbside service tasks and not scaffolding work. There is a long list of restrictions, but employers should know if they can hire your child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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