Legal Age to Work in Florida

Minimum Age to Work in FL

Florida (FL) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Work Permits are required for all employed minors under the age of 18. • Employers are required to keep Work Permits on file for each employed minor.
16-17Work Permits are required for all employed minors under the age of 18. • Employers are required to keep Work Permits on file for each employed minor.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Florida?

With a stated mission focused on protecting the academic interests, health, and welfare of working minors throughout the state, the Child Labor Program of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) creates and implements various laws involving jobs for teenagers. Florida child labor laws permit minors to work beginning at 14 years of age. With few exceptions, minors below the minimum age to work remain disqualified from gaining employment statewide. Unlike most other states, Florida does not require job seeking minors of legal working age to obtain a work permit at any time during the hiring process. However, underage employees in the Sunshine State must comply with labor laws specifying permitted and prohibited jobs for kids.

Florida Child Labor Laws

According to Florida child labor laws, jobs for 14 year olds and jobs for 15 year olds generally fall into the same category with regards to restrictions and regulations. At fourteen and fifteen years of age, minors seeking employment may not hold jobs involving construction work, climbing ladders or scaffolds, cooking over an open flame, door-to-door sales, loading and unloading trucks, operating power equipment, and repairing machinery. The state also forbids younger workers to handle certain kinds of dangerous animals and use spray paint on the job.

In addition to the restrictions placed specifically on 14- and 15-year-old workers, all jobs for teens in Florida come with provisions barring minors from working in the demolition, excavation, logging, meatpacking, mining, and roofing industries. Furthermore, state labor laws prohibit any working minor from firefighting, driving on public highways, manufacturing bricks, using certain types of saws, and handling compressed gases, corrosives, explosives, pesticides, radioactive materials, and other toxic substances.

Besides identifying jobs deemed too hazardous for employees between the ages of 14 and 17, the State of Florida controls the number of hours and times of day minors may devote to work. In general, with some exceptions, all minors remain barred from working during school hours. At ages 14 and 15, minors may work as many as 15 hours per week as long as the job does not start before 7:00am, end after 7:00pm, and take up more than three hours daily on school days. On weekends and other non-school days, fourteen and fifteen year olds in Florida may work up to 8 hours daily until 9:00pm

Upon reaching the ages of 16 and 17, employees face no restrictions on hours of weekend work and may spend up to 30 total hours per week on the job. Work must occur between the hours of 6:30am and 11:00pm and last no more than 8 hours each day. During winter, spring, and summer breaks, underage employees may work as much as desired, starting at age 16. Minors younger than sixteen may work a maximum of eight hours a day and forty hours a week during breaks in the academic calendar. As dictated by Florida law, employers must give all underage employees a 30-minute break for every four consecutive hours spent on the job and cannot schedule minors for more than six straight days of work at any time during the year.

Exemptions to Florida Child Labor Laws

Despite placing numerous limitations on the hours and types of work minors can undertake, Florida youth labor laws also feature exemptions and make exceptions for underage employees in particular situations. Regulations limiting the number of hours minors may work do not apply to employees enrolled in academic work programs, currently or formerly married, already graduated from high school, or discharged from the United States military. The State of Florida also lifts restrictions on work hours for minors holding child labor waivers. Granted by either the applicable public school system or the DBPR directly, child labor waivers allow minors dealing with extenuating circumstances to work beyond the scope of state employment laws. Child labor waivers remain distinctly different from work permits, which Florida neither offers nor requires.

Jobs Available to Florida Minors

Although state and federal labor laws limit the number of suitable jobs for teenagers in Florida, minors still encounter opportunities for employment in a variety of fields. Florida child labor laws permit children as young as 12 to work with a parent on farms, while job seekers may start pursuing newspaper delivery positions at age 10. Furthermore, minors of any age may work in the entertainment industry or for their parents in authorized, non-hazardous occupations. Certain restaurant and retail jobs also prove appropriate for minors seeking employment in Florida. To earn hiring consideration, underage job seekers need to furnish proof of age documentation, which employers must keep on file for all workers younger than 19.

source: Florida child labor laws source: Florida child labor brochure
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