Legal Age to Work in South Carolina

Minimum Age to Work in SC

South Carolina (SC) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15May only work for three hours a day and 18 hours a week.Must work between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
16-17Potentially hazardous occupations are unavailable to these minors.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

South Carolina Child Labor Laws

Laws governing jobs for teens in South Carolina are identical to the federal child labor statutes for the U.S. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation establishes the policies for how old a child can work in the state. Though some exceptions may override the rule, the minimum age to work in South Carolina stands at 14 years of age for a majority of jobs.

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What Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work in South Carolina?

During school weeks, individuals under 16 years of age may work three hours per day. The total hours of labor in a week must stay under 18. Minors are unable to work between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am. The regulations pertain to any day in the calendar where school remains in standard academic session. On non-school weeks, minors may work up to eight hours a day and 40 weekly. The time constraint also extends to 9:00pm.

Individuals sixteen years of age and older have unrestricted work hours. Individuals may work as needed to meet the requirements of the position. When an employee starts a job, the supervisor or manager must notify the worker in writing of the normal hours of anticipated labor. South Carolina law does not require employers to provide workers with meal breaks or rest periods.

Employer Requirements

South Carolina employers must keep the current labor laws posted in the workplace at all times. When hiring a minor, the company must obtain a legal document as verification of age, such as a birth certificate or a driver’s license. The following instructions detail how to get a work permit in the summer for teens needing the proper documents for obtaining employment.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

South Carolina teens can get jobs at any point in the year, regardless of whether they have a work certificate

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

Documents such as birth certificates, passports and state ID cards serve as a work permit for minors, since they allow them to prove their age and eligibility to get certain jobs.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Minors can apply to a variety of jobs suitable for their age group/
    • When a teen gets a job offer, they may present their new employer with their proof of age papers to show that they are legally able to work with the company.
    • The employer must copy the minor’s identification document and keep a copy on file at the job site for as long as the youth works there.

Work Restrictions

Jobs for 14 and 15 Year Olds
Generally, state law allows minors to hold clerical, office, and service jobs. Benefits of working at a young age, such as practical experience, responsibility, and social development, encourage youths to seek out work. Jobs available to fourteen and fifteen year olds include cleaning fruits and vegetables as well as stocking, weighing, and pricing produce, gas station work and other courtesy services, and delivery duties on foot, bike, or bus. Additional occupational duties fourteen and fifteen year olds stand permitted to perform include:

  • Cashier Duties
  • Cleanup Work
  • Car Washing/Polishing
  • Bagging/Grocery
  • Serving Foods/Beverages

Restricted Duties for Children under 16
For safety purposes, several positions and duties may not utilize child labor. South Carolina law dictates the importance of avoiding oppressive work conditions for minors. Such occupations may prove hazardous to the well-being and health of individuals without experience. The following list outlines jobs restricted for 14 and 15 year old workers:

  • Warehouse/Storage Work
  • Food Preparation/Use of Grinders
  • Public Utility Duties
  • Car Repair
  • Work on Ladders/Scaffolding
  • Operation of Lawnmowers/Golf Carts

Banned Positions for All Minors
Once a minor turns eighteen, child labor regulations cease to apply to the individual. Until adulthood, no underage individuals may hold gainful employment in or related to any of the following occupations:

  • Work with Explosives
  • Driving a Motor Vehicle
  • Manufacturing Brick/Tile
  • Logging/Sawmilling
  • Mining
  • Exposure to Radiations
  • Work with Power-driven Machinery
  • Roofing
  • Meat Packing/Processing
  • Demolition
  • Excavation

Exceptions
Jobs related to show business remain accessible to individuals under age 14. Acting or performing in a theatrical, film, or radio production constitutes legal employment for children in the Palmetto State. Minors may also hold employment in newspaper delivery occupations at any capable age. Agricultural jobs remain open as well, provided the parents of minors also work at the same establishment. In addition, children may work at any age for a business exclusively owned by the parents of the child, except in hazardous or dangerous occupations.

source: South Carolina child labor laws

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