Legal Age to Work in North Dakota

Minimum Age to Work in ND

North Dakota (ND) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15A Certificate of employment is required as well as a letter from a prospective employer is required before an employment certificate is issued. Cannot work before 7:00am or after 7:00pm.
16-17Cannot work in any vocation which has been declared by Rule or Regulation of the Secretary of Labor to be dangerous or injurious to the life, health, morals or welfare of a minor.
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

Regulated by the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights, the state strictly regulates all child labor by placing limitations on the employment of minors. For instance, no minor under the age of 14 may work in North Dakota, while all 14 and 15 year olds require an Employment and Age Certificate in order to legally perform work tasks. In addition, restrictions remain on the number of hours, days, and types of work a minor may perform. In the case where both state and federal regulations come into play, employers should follow the stricter of the two mandates.

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Some teens may remain exempt from some or all of the state youth employment rules, as long as certain conditions remain met. For example, the minimum age and the requirement to file an Employment and Age Certificate shall be waived in the event that the minor remains under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian, as long as that person acts as 100-percent owner of said business. A minor may remain exempt from hour restrictions and the certificate if the child procures an exemption from compulsory school attendance, as well. Such exemption may come into play if the minor completes all the requirements for graduation, a mainstream classroom education does not exist due to disability, or the minor must work to help financially support the family. Finally, all restrictions may deem waived if the minor works in the domestic service of a private home or in agriculture. 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

Otherwise known as a work permit, the Employment and Age Certificate remains a required form that needs completed upon the start of each employment relationship involving a teen aged 14 or 15. The form requires the teen, a parent or guardian, and the potential employer to each fill out the necessary information before turning in. The form remains available from the Department of Labor and Human Rights office and the web site. For convenience purposes, Job Service North Dakota and each county school superintendent office may also keep a supply for interested parties. Each new employment opportunity requires a new certificate, as transferring a certificate between occupations remains prohibited.

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. In contrast, a youth of such age may work extended hours from June 1 through Labor Day, as the time changes to 7:00am to 9:00pm. Additionally, 14 and 15 year olds may only work a maximum of three hours per week on a school day and only eight hours a day on a non-school day. For the school week, a minor may only work up to 18 hours, while a designated non-school week limits the total number of hours worked to 40. For reference, a school week persists as one in which school attendance remains mandatory for any part of four or more days, from Sunday through Saturday.

How Many Hours Can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work?
Minors 16 years and over face no restrictions on employment in the State of North Dakota, under state law. 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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