Legal Age to Work in New Hampshire

Minimum Age to Work in NH

New Hampshire (NH) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Minors must have a work certificate in order to gain employment. May work between the hours of 7:00am and 9:00pm for a total of three hours a day and 23 hours a week
16-17May only work six days in a row, and 30 hours during the school 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 outside of the agricultural field. Their child Laws include work permit statutes, age and hour qualifications for underage workers, and employer responsibilities. The state also prohibits minors from working in hazardous occupations

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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. Though 18 year olds have few restrictions on the hours or occupations they work, anyone under 19 years of age 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 three days of hire, children under 16 need to obtain a certificate for work in order to keep their job. Though a work card is unnecessary for older teens, they must have parental consent before they begin working. School superintendents, guidance departments, and principals may issue permits to students who meet the attendance, grades and school conduct criteria. The following information shows underage hopefuls how to get a work permit in the summer when their school officials are unavailable.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

New Hampshire child labor laws require all minors under the age of 16 to obtain a work permit before joining the workforce.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

Youth employment certificate applications are available online at the Department of Labor website.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Minors must get a job offer from the employer of a non-hazardous occupation.
    • After downloading the proper forms, the teen, their parent and their potential employer must fill out and sign the application before submitting it to the Department of Labor in-person or through the mail.
    • The applicant and their employer must keep a copy of the completed document for their records.

Employer Accountability

In addition to aiding minors with the work permit process, employers in the Granite State bear other responsibilities regarding child labor. In addition to keeping work pwrmits and proof of age documents on file. Business owners need to provide individuals with work schedules that complement their school calendar. Minor work schedules, including meal times and hour limits, must remain posted in noticeable locations in the workplace. Failure to uphold these regulations may result in 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 the days of the week and the time of year. School days allow minors only three hours of labor, while non-school days provide for eight hours. Minors are unable to work between 9:00pm and 7:00am. Between Labor Day and June 1st, the evening restriction limits underage workers to working past 7:00pm for occupations under federal jurisdiction. It is illegal for minors to work during school hours unless they are part of a work-study program. Weekly work hours can reach a maximum of 18 hours during the school week, or 40 hours otherwise, though some jobs allow for a 23 or 48 hour work week. 

What Hours Can 16 and 17 Year Olds Work in New Hampshire?
Students aged 16 and 17 must abide by slightly different work hour regulations. In a given school week, minors may work up to 30 hours. During vacation and holidays, the limit extends to 48 hours. Night shifts must be less than eight hours long, while manufacturing, manual and mechanical jobs may go on for up to ten. Regardless of occupation, these minors are unable to work more than six consecutive days in a week. 

Minors who have graduated high school have fewer restrictions on their work hours, though the combined hours of all their vocations must total less than the state regulation. Underage workers in manufacturing positions must perform under 48 hours of labor per week, while mechanical and manual laborers can total 54 weekly hours. 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?
Permitted occupations for 14 and 15 year olds 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
The state of New Hampshire considers certain occupations too dangerous for minors. In order to safeguard the health and well-being of underage workers, individuals under 18 are unable to 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
Despite their status as minors, 16 year olds are able to hold certain hazardous positions. However, the law prohibits 14 and 15 year olds from pursuing jobs that involve:

  • 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

New Hampshire’s child labor laws offer numerous exceptions to minors working in the agricultural field. 14 year olds may hold any non-hazardous farming jobs, provided the work takes place outside of 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. Other work permit and hour restriction guidelines are unneeded for this industry 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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