Legal Age to Work in North Dakota

Minimum Age to Work in ND

North Dakota (ND) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Must receive have an “intent to hire” letter from their prospective employer, then get a Certificate of employment.May only work before 7:00am or after 7:00pm.
16-17Unable to perform dangerous tasks as defined by the Secretary of Labor.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

North Dakota Child Labor Laws

The North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights, strictly regulates all child labor. State guidelines affect minors at age 14 when they are legally able to obtain employment. These laws require youths to get Employment and Age Certificates, work certain types of jobs and observe proper restrictions on the hours and days which they are able to perform their duties.

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Exemptions

In some cases, North Dakota youths may be able to perform jobs outside of legal guidelines. For example, minors may ignore the state’s minimum working age requirements if they perform tasks for a business that their parents own. Minors who have graduated or are unable to attend school are exempt from hour restrictions that allow other teens to adhere to their class schedules.  Finally, labor laws exclude underage employees who perform domestic tasks in private homes are . All employers should refer to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when not sure if the minor meets any exemption or if a job breaks any law.

Employment Certificate

North Dakota regulations require individuals aged 14 and 15 to obtain a work permit before starting any job. During the school year, teens may get a permit application from their school guidance counselor. The following information shows how to get a work permit in the summer.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

Underage workers in North Dakota must have an Employment and Age certificate before they can enter the workforce.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

The North Dakota Department of Labor website, Job Service North Dakota and each county’s school superintendent office has permit papers available for minors seeking employment.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Apply for a job with an employer that meets the state regulations for the proper age group
    • The applicant must print and fill out the application, then get the signatures of their legal guardian and potential employer
    • Turn in completed form and show proof of age (birth certificate, state ID, school records, etc.)
    • The issuing officer will approve the paperwork and issue a permit to the minor.

Hour Restrictions

How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?
A 14 or 15 year old may only work between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00 pm from Labor Day through May 31, and may work until 9:00pm during summer vacation. Additionally, they may only work a maximum of three hours per school day, and eight hours per non-school day. Youths can earn a maximum of 18 hours throughout school weeks and 40 hours during class vacation weeks. 

How Many Hours Can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work?
State guidelines offer no restrictions on the work hours of Minors 16 years and over. Federal child labor laws still prohibit certain types of employment for any minor under the age of 18.

Prohibited Professions

Forbidden Occupations for Minors Under 15
North Dakota state law prohibits minors between the ages of 14 and 15 from performing the following occupations:

  • Construction work other than general cleaning, errand running, moving, stacking, and unloading of materials by hand.
  • Employment Involving Power-Driven Machinery
  • Lumbering, Logging, and Sawmill Operations
  • Manufacturing or Use of Explosives
  • Steam Machinery
  • Operation of or Assisting in Laundry Machinery
  • Manufacture of Paints, Colors, or White Lead
  • Operating or Assisting the Operation of Passenger or Freight Elevators
  • Work in a Mine or Quarry
  • Manufacturing Goods for Immoral Purposes
  • Work Involving Elevated Surfaces, Such as Ladders and Scaffoldings
  • Occupations Requiring the Use of a Firearm
  • Door-to-Door Sales
  • Occupations Involving Fertilizers, Pesticides, or any Chemical, Toxin, or Heavy Metal
  • Working with Medical or Dangerous Wastes
  • Cooking, Baking, Grilling, or Frying
  • Warehouse or Storage Work
  • Trucking or Commercial Driving

Forbidden Occupations for Minors Under 18
When state and federal child labor provisions differ, the more rigid standard prevails and must be followed. For example, the FLSA forbids any minor under the age of 18 from working in a variety of occupations. So, if federal law prohibits a type of employment that state law may otherwise allow, the federal law would supersede and the work would remain prohibited. Examples of such occupations sit listed below:

  • Motor-vehicle Driving and Outside Helper
  • Coal Mining
  • Power-Driven Woodworking Machinery
  • Exposure to Radioactive Substances
  • Operating Power-Driven Meat Processing Equipment
  • Power-Driven Bakery Machinery
  • Manufacturing Bricks, Tiles, and Kindred Products
  • Wrecking, Demolition, and Ship Breaking
  • Roofing Operations
  • Excavation Operations
source: North Dakota child labor laws

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