Minnesota Child Labor Laws - More Child Worker Restrictions

Time Restrictions for Minors 16 & 17 Years Old:

Once a child reaches 16 years old, but before they turn 18 years old, there are expanded hours they can work. Minnesota law states that students may not work after 11pm on evenings before school days, or before 5am on school days. These hours may be expanded to 11:30pm and 4:30am respectively if the employer receives written permission from the workers parent or guardian.

Work Restriction for Minors Under 18 Years Old:

There are also many restrictions on the type of work that workers under 18 can perform. These restrictions also apply to minors under the age of 16 to the extent that they are otherwise allowed to work. Again, this list does not include every prohibition, but instead lists the ones that most commonly apply in the green industry.

Minors under 18 are prohibited from performing the following work:

-with chemicals or other substances when present at excessive temperatures or in explosive, toxic or flammable quantities

-in logging/lumbering operations (sorry arborists this includes you too) or in sand and gravel pits

-on construction or building projects (this is pretty broad and includes most landscaping)

-in building maintenance or repair higher than 12 feet above the ground or floor level

-in oxy-acetylene or oxy-hydrogen welding

-operating or assisting in the operation of power-driven machinery, such as forklifts, skid steers, tractors, etc.

-operating a lift or hoisting machine

-operating a passenger-carrying vehicles as a driver

A Couple Exceptions to the Prohibited Work Rules:

There are a few limited exceptions to the multitude of rules that were just covered. First, if a 17 year old has graduated from High School, they can work full time and are not subject to the other work restrictions. Second, minors may work for a business that is solely owned by their parent(s), as long as the minor is supervised daily by one or both parents when performing the work. Finally, minors can perform allowed tasks in a business whose primary function would otherwise be prohibited. For example, a minor can be hired to sweep at a factory as long as the tasks performed take place away from the area of any hazardous operation, equipment, or materials.

Sources:
Minn. Stat. Ch. 181A
Prohibited work: http://www.doli.state.mn.us/LS/ProhibWork.asp
Under 16: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=5200.0920
Under 18: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=5200.0910

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