Legal Age to Work in Louisiana

Minimum Age to Work in LA

Louisiana (LA) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Have an official employment certificate. Limit work schedule to 3 or fewer work hours on school nights for a total of 18 hours each week.
16-17May only work between 5:00am and 11:00pm.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

Louisiana Child Labor Laws

Louisiana has a variety of state policies that relate to minors in the work place. The primary purpose of these child labor laws is to allow underage individuals to engage in legal employment while keeping up with their school responsibilities and avoiding dangerous occupations. The State of Louisiana consistently visits and inspects locations employing child laborers to ensure fair treatment of minors and compliance with the legal statutes. 

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Louisiana?

The minimum age for employment in Louisiana is 14. Though these young teens are able to join the workforce, the state limits the number of hours they can work and the types of occupations they can hold in order to keep underage workers healthy and safe. Although the law requires working minors to be at least 14 years old, there are a few exceptions that allow 12 and 13 year olds to earn money. In addition to the common areas of door-to-door sales, babysitting and yard work for homes in their neighborhoods, these youths can work in the entertainment industry or perform tasks for their family’s business, as long as their parent is there to supervise them at all times.

Employment Certificates

With the exception of working for a family business or entertainment agency, minors must have employment certificates before they can enter the workforce. Most teens get applications for working papers from their high school guidance counselor’s office, but that method may become unavailable during summer vacation. See the following instructions to learn how to get a work permit in the summer.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

Yes. Minors who want to work summer jobs must have a work permit.

  • Where can I get a work permit beside school?

Teens can find request a work permit application from their local board of education office, or apply for a “Minor Employment Certificate” online at the Department of Labor’s Louisiana Workforce Commission webpage.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Get an Application to Employ Minors from the school board office, or from the Workforce Commission website.
    • The underage job applicant, their legal guardian and their potential employer must fill out the form.
    • Teens must arrive at the school board office in person to submit the work permit application and their proof of age document.
    • The superintendent’s office will issue a work permit to the minor after approving their forms.

Work Permit Information for Employers

Though minors usually have to get a permit for a specific occupation, there are some cases in which a teen can get a temporary blanket permit that allows them to perform any state-approved task within a company for a period of 60 days. In any case, the employer must keep all employment certificates on file at their work location for the duration of the minor’s employment.

How Many Hours Can a Minor Work in Louisiana?

During the school year, 14 and 15 year olds may only work for three hours on school nights, and eight hours on weekends. They must also be off the clock by 7:00pm every night, though they can work until 9:00pm once summer rolls around. There are fewer restrictions on the hours 16 and 17 year olds can work each week, though the law prohibits them from working past 11:00pm on school nights. These teens must also take a 30 minute break for every five hours of job tasks they perform.  

Prohibited Occupations

According to state regulations, Louisiana youths are unable to work in fields that pose a threat to their safety. These jobs may require teens to risk their physical and mental health, or perform indecent and immoral acts that are against state and federal law. Some specific restricted jobs for all individuals 17 and under include:

  • Cleaning or Oiling Machinery or Shafting
  • Work in Mines or Quarries
  • Stone Cutting/Polishing
  • Any Job Related to Explosives
  • Iron or Steel Manufacturing Plants
  • Smelters or Foundries
  • Sawmills or Logging Jobs
  • Operation of Elevators or Hoisting Machinery
  • Spray Painting or Work with Poisonous Compounds

Restricted Work for 14 and 15 Year Olds
In addition to the occupations in the above list, 14 and 15 year olds may not hold employment in or related to the following fields:

  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial Laundry/Dry Cleaning
  • Construction
  • Repair
  • Work with Ladders/Scaffolding
  • Work in Boiler/Engine Rooms
  • Communications
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Meat/Cheese Slicing
  • Work in Freezers/Meat Coolers
  • Meat Processing
  • Loading/Unloading Goods from Trucks/Trains/Conveyors
  • Work with Power-driven Machinery

Exceptions
The state also places several restrictions on the types of work minors can do within their age-appropriate occupation. For instance, licensed 17 year olds can have jobs that require driving, but they may only perform these tasks during the daylight hours. Establishments retailing alcoholic beverages may still hire teenagers as long as sales of alcohol do not constitute the primary revenue of the business and the underage individuals do not handle the actual sales or preparations involving or consisting of alcohol. Minors over 15 may also work in locations with liquor licenses, though they are unable to handle any products containing alcohol.  Interested parties may contact the State Department for more details on restricted duties for underage workers.

source: Louisiana child labor laws

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