Legal Age to Work in Florida

Minimum Age to Work in FL

Florida (FL) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Work Permits are mandatory for all working minors. Employers are required to keep Work Permits on file for each underage employee.
16-17Work Permits are necessary for all minors seeking employment. Employers must keep Work Permits on file for each minor they hire.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

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

 Although Florida child labor laws permit minors to work beginning at 14 years of age, there are a few instances in which pre-teens can gain employment. Regardless of age, state regulations place occupational and hour restrictions on working minors in order to protect their health, welfare and academic interests.

Florida Child Labor Laws

According to Florida child labor laws, minors may enter the workforce at 14 years old. The state does not require minors to hold a work permit, though they must provide their employers with proof of their age in order to perform certain duties. Many minors use their school records as a work permit, since they prove how old a student is. However, teens may need to learn how to get a work permit in the summer if they want to start work after the school year.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

No. The state of Florida allows minors to enter the workforce without a work permit.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

If school records are unavailable during summer vacation, teens can get their academic information from their local board of education office. On the other hand, they could use their birth certificate, state-issued ID card, driver’s license or other legal document to prove their age.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer?

    • Choose a job that adheres to Florida’s guidelines for underage employees.
    • Apply for the job
    • Bring a proof of age document to potential employers to show that you are legally able to work in that field

 

While work permits are unnecessary for minors seeking employment, Florida’s child labor laws limit the types of jobs that 14 and 15 year olds can have. These teens are unable to perform tasks involving:

  • Construction
  • Climbing ladders and scaffolding
  • Cooking over an open flame
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Loading and unloading trucks
  • Operating power tools
  • Repairing machinery

Though 16 and 17 year olds can perform the above tasks, they may not work in areas of:

  • Demolition
  • Excavation
  • Logging
  • Meatpacking
  • Mining
  • Roofing
  • Handling toxic substances
  • Driving on public highways

Besides identifying jobs that are too hazardous for employees between the ages of 14 and 17, the State of Florida controls the number of hours that minors may devote to work. In general, all minors are unable to work during school hours. Minors aged 14 and 15 may work as many as 15 hours per week as long as the job does not start before 7:00am, end after 7:00pm, or take up more than three hours of a school day. On weekends and other non-school days, They can work up to 8 hours daily until 9:00pm

Once they turn 16, underage employees become exempt from weekend work restrictions. They may spend up to 30 total hours per week on the job, though their tasks 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, these underage employees may work as much as they like. Minors younger than sixteen may work a maximum of eight hours a day and forty hours a week during breaks in the academic calendar. According to Florida law, employers must give all underage employees a 30-minute break for every four hours or work, and at least one day off per week.  

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Exemptions to Florida Child Labor Laws

Despite the various limitations on the hours and types of work minors can undertake, Florida youth labor laws make exceptions for certain circumstances. Individuals who are exempt from state regulations on working teens include minors who are:

  • Enrolled in work-study programs
  • Currently or formerly married
  • High school graduates
  • Former service members of the U.S. military
  • In possession of a Child Labor waiver

Jobs Available to Florida Minors

 Florida child labor laws permit children as young as ten to deliver newspapers, while 12 year olds can work on farms or in their family’s non-hazardous business.   At any age, minors may work in the entertainment industry. Certain restaurant and retail jobs are appropriate for minors seeking employment in Florida.

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

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