Legal Age to Work in New Hampshire

Minimum Age to Work in NH

New Hampshire (NH) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15No youth shall be employed or permitted to work without a certificate. Cannot work earlier than 7:00am or later than 9:00pm, more than 3 hours per day on school days or 23 hours per week.
16-17Cannot work more than 6 consecutive days or more than 30 hours during the school calendar week
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

New Hampshire Child Labor Laws

New Hampshire regulates jobs available to minors via federal and state law in all non-agricultural occupations. The State Department of Labor oversees all legal provisions on the subject. Laws include work permit statutes, age and hour qualifications for underage workers, and employer responsibilities. In addition, New Hampshire prohibits minors from working in hazardous occupations through the regulations of the department. Farming-related jobs remain covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.

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At What Age Can a Minor Work in New Hampshire?

In general, most non-hazardous positions in New Hampshire become accessible to individuals at the age of 16. Limited work opportunities exist for children 14 and 15 years of age, as well. Once 18, all jobs largely stand available for work. However, teens under 19 years of age, including eighteen year olds, must file proof of age with employers. Acceptable documentation to verify age includes birth certificates, passports, religious certificates, or immigration records.

Youth Employment Certificates

Within no more than three days of hire, children under 16 need to obtain a certificate for work. School superintendents, guidance departments, and principals in the district the child attends may issue permits when appropriate qualifications stand fulfilled. The employer and prospective employee each fill out corresponding sections of the request form and return the completed application to the local school offices. The document must also carry signatures from the minor, issuing official, employer, and a parent or guardian of the child. Though individuals sixteen and seventeen years of age do not need a work permit, employers of said teens must still maintain written permission from a parent or guardian of the youth, except if the minor already possesses a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Employer Accountability

In addition to aiding minors with the work permit process, employers in the Granite State bear other responsibilities related to child labor. The employment certificate stays on record during the tenure of underage labor. Proof of age must also remain on file for all individuals 18 and under. Business owners need to provide individuals with work schedules to ensure school hours do not conflict. Minor work schedules, including meal times and hour limits, must remain posted in noticeable locations in the workplace. If an employer fails to uphold regulations regarding permits, hours, work conditions, age limits, or hazardous duties, the State Department of Labor may impose monetary penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

Time and Hour Constraints

Hours for Minors 15 and Under
Restrictions on work hours vary depending on whether jobs stand subject to both federal and state laws or only state regulations. School days allow minors only three hours of labor, while non-school days provide for eight hours. Minors may not work between 9:00pm and 7:00am. Between Labor Day and June 1st, the evening restriction limits underage workers to 7:00pm for occupations under federal jurisdiction. Work during school hours also stands forbidden, except in cases of approved work experience programs. In addition, work under federal law must consist of no more than 18 hours during an academic week or 40 hours otherwise. Jobs subject only to state laws extend potential work hours during school weeks to 23 and labor times during non-academic weeks to a maximum of 48 hours. The United States Department of Labor determines which occupations fall under which category.

What Hours Can 16 and 17 Year Olds Work in New Hampshire?
Employed individuals 16 and 17 years of age and enrolled in school must abide by certain provisions related to hours for work. In a given school week, minors may work no more than 30 hours. During established vacation from education, the limit extends to 48 hours. Night hours, if applicable, must not total more than eight. Manufacturing shifts must remain less than 10 hours. 10 and one-fourth hours per day stands as the limit for manual and mechanical work. Under no circumstances may teens work for more than six consecutive days.

Rules lessen considerably for minors not enrolled in school. However, some restrictions still apply. Laws for daily hours in manufacturing and work at night remain in place, with the additional stricture of work staying under 48 hours of labor per week. In addition, manual and mechanical jobs must not employ minors for more than 54 hours weekly. Hour statutes apply to the combined total of hours from all vocations in cases of minors working multiple jobs.

Work Restrictions

What Jobs Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?
The State of New Hampshire allows gainful employment to become obtainable for minors as young as 14, in many cases. Permitted occupations include:

  • Office/Clerical Work
  • Bagging/Carrying Goods
  • Modeling/Art Work/Advertising
  • Errand/Delivery Work on Foot/Bicycle/Public Transport
  • Price-Marking
  • Non-Meat-Related Kitchen Work
  • Dispensing Gas/Oil
  • Cashiering
  • Cleanup Work

Hazardous Occupations
Under the provisions of the FLSA, several occupations remain unsafe for teenage laborers and thus barred. No individual under the legal age of 18 years old may hold gainful employment in any job deemed hazardous by federal or state governments. Regulations exist to safeguard the health and well-being of children. Minors stand excluded from the possibility of work in the fields of:

  • Explosives
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Mining
  • Work with Power-driven Machinery
  • Logging/Sawmilling
  • Radioactive Substances
  • Manufacturing of Brick/Tile
  • Slaughtering/Meat Packing
  • Demolition/Wrecking/Ship-Breaking
  • Roofing
  • Excavation

Restricted Jobs for Minors Under 16
In addition to occupations restricted for all minors, the State of New Hampshire further prohibits jobs for 15 year olds and under. Positions requiring adult responsibilities or injurious conditions generally stand off limits. The following list outlines barred positions for children:

  • Work in Manufacturing
  • Communications/Publics Utilities
  • Processing Jobs
  • Warehouse/Storage Work
  • Construction
  • Work in Boiler/Engine Rooms
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Work in Freezers/Meat Coolers
  • Loading/Unloading Rail or Conveyor Goods

Agricultural Occupations

The FLSA establishes federal provisions for agricultural child labor, applicable particularly in states with no explicit agricultural teen work laws on file at the state level. 14 year olds may hold any non-hazardous job in the field, provided the work does not take place during school hours. Individuals 12 and 13 years of age need parental consent or supervision to work, and children 11 and under may only work with parental permission on a farm exempt from minimum wage requirements. Generally, work permit and hours restrictions, other than provisions outlawing work during school hours, do not apply to agricultural work in New Hampshire. Prohibited jobs in agriculture include work with animals used for breeding, driving a tractor over 20 horsepower, operating farm machinery, and working in fruit or grain silos. At 16 years of age, minors may legally perform, at any time, any duty or occupation related to farming.

source: New Hampshire minor labor laws

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