Legal Age to Work in Delaware

Minimum Age to Work in DE

Delaware (DE) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Must have a Class 1 work permit, very limited on hours worked during the school year. Limited to retail, clerical, and child care occupations. May not work where alcohol is sold or served.
16-17Must have Class 2 work permit. Cannot work after 10:00pm or before 5:00am. See the link below for the prohibited occupations
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

Delaware Child Labor Laws

Federal and state child labor laws stand in place to ensure the health and well-being of young citizens. The laws not only protect youths from dangerous and harmful occupations but certify gainful employment does not interfere with the right of a minor to education. The State of Delaware strictly prohibits any individual under the age of 14 to participate in employment and enforces various restrictions on employment provisions for any citizen under the age of 18.

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Certain occupations and circumstances stand exempt from restrictive labor laws. Minors working in agricultural settings which prove nonhazardous, receiving pay for domestic work, working for a business which stands owned by the legal parent or guardian of the youth, volunteering with written permission by the parent or guardian, working as a golf caddy, delivering newspapers, and canning or preserving perishable vegetables do not stand required to adhere to labor law restrictions. Furthermore, youth enrolled in a work-study program, an apprenticeship, or a similar educational course may disregard hour and occupation constraints.

Employment Certificate

All minors under the age of 18 must obtain an employment certificate before legally participating in gainful employment. The superintendent, or an individual designated by the superintendent, of any local school district remains authorized to issue an employment certificate. Employers must keep the employment certificate of all minors working at the establishment on file and easily accessible to the Department of Labor upon request. The age of the minor seeking employment should stand verified using a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, school record, passport, driver license, or any official government document listing the age of the minor.

Hour Restrictions

How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?
Since the main goal of labor law hour restrictions remains to protect the education of the youth, work during regular school hours stands strictly prohibited. Minors aged 14 or 15 persist permitted to work no more than four hours a day and 18 hours in a given week when school stands in session. Additionally, work between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am remain forbidden. During school vacations or when school does not stand in session, minors remain allowed to work no more than eight hours in a given day and no more than 40 hours in a given week. Between June 1st and Labor Day, Delaware youth may work from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

How Many Hours Can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work?
As minors age, the law affords individuals more autonomy. Minors standing at ages 16 or 17 must adhere to two simple provisions: in a single day the combined hours spent at work and school must not exceed 12 and individuals should have at least eight consecutive hours of rest in a 24 hour period. Furthermore, for every shift which lasts at least five hours, minors of all ages stand entitled to a half hour rest.

Prohibited Professions

Forbidden Occupations for Minors Under 18
To protect the safety, health, and morality of minors, the State of Delaware restricts the fields of employment in which a youth citizen may receive consideration for hire. Though individuals standing at age sixteen and seventeen stand privy to more freedom, the following occupations remain restricted to any minor under 18 years of age:

  • Work With Blast Furnaces
  • Docks or Wharves
  • Railroads
  • Installation or Repair of Electrical Wires
  • Distilleries
  • Manufacturing of Dangerous or Toxic Chemicals
  • Pilot
  • Firefighter
  • Engineer

Forbidden Occupations for Minors Under 16
The following industries remain legally accessible to minors standing at the age of 16 or 17, but in the interest of youth safety and well-being stand strictly prohibited for Delaware citizens aged fourteen and fifteen:

  • Work Involving Power-Driven Machinery
  • Meat Slicing and Packaging
  • Use of Deep Fat Fryers
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Work Involving Boilers
  • Stripping and Sorting of Tobacco
  • Construction/Demolition
  • Tunneling/Excavation
  • Mines/Quarries
  • Work Involving Coal Breakers or Coke Ovens

source: Delaware child labor laws

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