Legal Age to Work in Hawaii

Minimum Age to Work in HI

Hawaii (HI) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Must work between 7:00am and 7:00pm, no more than six consecutive days, and no more than eighteen hours in a week. Cannot work more than three hours on any school day.
16-17Must work between 7:00am and 7:00pm, no more than six consecutive days, and no more than eighteen hours in a week. Cannot work more than three hours on any school day.
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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Hawaii Child Labor Laws

In Hawaii, the state Wage Standards Division oversees and enforces child labor laws applicable to youth workers. The definition of a minor under Hawaii state law includes individuals under the age of 18. Employment as a minor carries several stipulations, restrictions, and requirements applicants must honor, carry out, and/or meet in order to work in The Aloha State. In most cases, the Hawaiian workforce requires minors to stand at least 14 years of age to assume jobs for monetary gain. Special exemptions for certain industries apply. Minors must obtain special youth labor permits corresponding to specific age brackets in order to work in the state, as well. Upon reaching the age of eighteen, young persons no longer fall under the jurisdiction of child labor laws.

Hawaii Youth Work Permits

The legal working age for minors begins at 14. Job seekers between the ages of 14 and 17 must apply for special work permits to perform labor for monetary gain. The state divides work permits into two categories. Workers falling into the age range of fourteen and fifteen must apply for Certificates of Employment. Individuals aged 16 and 17 must apply for Certificates of Age in order to legally hold jobs in the State of Hawaii.

Certificate of Employment
Hawaiian labor laws state applicants aged 14 and 15 must obtain Certificates of Employment prior to beginning work for monetary gain. The state provides a download of the application necessary to procure the legal document through the government website. Minors and employers may find the application available through state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) offices, as well. The form needs the signatures of a parent or guardian and the prospective employer. Workers must submit the form to a local DLIR office by email, fax, or hand. If the proposed job, including potential hours and specific duties, gain approval from the state and minors present acceptable proofs of age, workers receive temporary permits, which satisfy full legal purposes until the state can issue official certificates. The document is non-transferable from one job to another.

Certificate of Age
Under Hawaiian law, minors 16 and 17 must obtain Certificates of Age in order to maintain employment in the state. Unlike Certificates of Employment, minors do not need prospective jobs in order to obtain Certificates of Age. The form primarily holds the equivalence of a state-issued identification card and provides documented proof of age. Employers must verify the age of each minor employed as listed on Certificate of Age documents in corroboration with additional proofs of age during the hiring process. Workers may access the application for Certificates of Age through the state government website or through local DLIR offices.

Acceptable Proofs of Age in Hawaii

  • Hawaii Driver’s License
  • Driver’s Permit from Another U.S. State
  • Official Birth Certificate
  • State-Issued Identification
  • Military Identification
  • Passport
  • Working Visa
  • Official School Transcript
  • Official Hospital Records
  • Court Documents
  • Baptismal Records

Restrictions on Hours

How many hours jobs for teenagers in the State of Hawaii provide for young workers largely depends on the age of workers while employed. Labor laws restrict the number of hours youths may assume. While fourteen and fifteen year olds represent the only age group to face restrictions in the state, 16 and 17 year olds adhere to labor laws applicable to legal adults.

How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work in Hawaii?

The restrictions on hours for fourteen and fifteen year olds in the workforce protect against interference with minors’ academic schedules. During school days, the State of Hawaii only allows minors aged 14 and 15 to work up to three hours between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm. On days when school is not in session, the hours restrictions lessen to allow for eight hours of work per day between 6:00am and 9:00pm. By law, employers must provide 30 minutes away from responsibilities for every five consecutive hours worked. Child labors laws in the state also prohibit the scheduling of minors more than six consecutive days in a single week.

Special Exemptions and Prohibited Occupations

Employment in Entertainment
Hawaiian youth labor laws include special provisions regarding the entertainment industry. The laws pertaining to employment in theatrical capacities allow individuals under the age of 14 to work in film, theater, radio, television, music, or any other performance art form for monetary gain. Minors must obtain consent from a parent or guardian and file the approval with the director or organizer of the performance or act. State law also explicitly mandates the person controlling or filing the official consent must remain within the direct vicinity of the employed minor at all times. The employment opportunity must not interfere with the academic schedule of a minor, either. A valid Certificate of Employment must remain on file throughout the duration of the job opportunity.

Conditions for Theatrical Employment
The state outlines specific rules for minors working in the entertainment industry regarding hours of employment. Minors six and under must not work past 7:30pm. On nights not followed by school days, workers between the ages of 6 and 14 may not work past 10:30pm; no later than 11:30pm for individuals 14 to 17. On days preceding school days, labor laws cap work days at 8:30pm and 9:30pm for minors six to fourteen and minor 14 to 17, respectively. Combined, hours employed and spent in school should not exceed more than ten per day, regardless of age as a minor. Stipulations limit days worked in entertainment capacities to no more than four per week. Below sit further restrictions for working in theatrical jobs in the State of Hawaii:

  • Individuals 6 and Under May Work No More Than Two Hours in a Day
  • Workers 6 to 10 May Work No More Than Three Hours Per Day
  • Minors 10 to 14 May Work No More Than Four Hours a Day
  • Fourteen to Sixteen Year Olds May Not Work More Than Eight Hours in a Single Day

Coffee Harvesting
Processed coffee for human consumption ranks as a chief Hawaiian export. Due to the number of young persons who assume jobs in the field, state legislature created several laws pertaining to the industry to ensure the safety and academic integrity of minors employed by coffee harvesting outfits. In order to harvest the cash crop, minors must stand at least 10 years old and fall under direct supervision of a parent or guardian. The state also requires youths to possess valid workers permits and keep the documents on file throughout the duration of employment. All minors (Under 18) must possess a Certificate of Employment to hold a job in the coffee harvesting industry.

Law pertaining to coffee harvesting in Hawaii also includes provisions restricting hours minors may work in the industry. Young people ages ten to fourteen may only harvest the crop between 6:00am and 6:00pm on non-school days. Hawaiian law also provides the age group 15 minute breaks every two consecutive hours of work and one-hour breaks every four consecutive hours. Restrictions limit youth work schedules to six hours per day, no more than 30 hours per week, and a maximum of five consecutive days a week. Workers 15 and over may adhere to general state laws regarding hours of employment.

Child labor laws in Hawaii also place limitations on the tools and working environments young persons may use or enter while employed as coffee harvesters. Processing equipment, including heavy machinery or motor vehicles, remain strictly prohibited for use by minors. Jobs for teenagers in the coffee harvesting industry may not impose job duties requiring the relocation of goods exceeding 15 pounds.

Pineapple Harvesting
Minors may also take part in the organized harvesting of pineapples for monetary gain. The state allows for individuals as young as 15 years of age to participate in the profession; however, the age group must adhere to special provisions outlined by Hawaiian youth labor laws. Workers 16 and over remain exempt from the special statutes and fall under traditional law for employment as minors in the state.

Legislation limits minors of 15 employed in pineapple harvesting to no more than 48 hours of work per week and no more than eight hours in a day between June 1 and the day before Labor Day of any calendar year. The minors must also adhere to specific hours restrictions regulating schedules beginning at 6:00am and lasting no later than 12:30am the following morning. While harvesting pineapples, minors of 15 may not use cultivating, harvesting, or machines attached to trucks, stand alone, unsupervised at any time, or work in ill-lit areas. The workers must wear protective eyewear, gloves, and clothing protecting the skin at all times.

Youth labor laws also stipulate that 15 year olds must procure transportation prior to assuming schedules with hours past 9:00pm, of which the minors need written consent signed and approved by a parent or guardian and kept on file throughout the duration of assignment. Employers may not assign fifteen year olds to work in groups or crews where a majority of the employees stand seventeen or older. The minors must obtain Certificates of Employment available through DLIR offices to assume pineapple harvesting jobs.

Non-Profit/Religiously Affiliated Jobs for Teens
Occupations involving non-hazardous responsibilities under the direct guidance or supervision of religious entities or non-profit organizations fall under special exemption for minors in the State of Hawaii. Charities and other socially concerned, appropriately deemed institutions may employ workers under the age of 18 regardless of academic schedules under specific conditions. The laws allow for minors to perform volunteer work so long as school and work schedules do not conflict. The state requires the religious, non-profit, or charitable employers to provide proper proofs of legal existence as non-commercial entities.

Restricted Occupations for Minors in Hawaii

Like most states, Hawaii restricts youths from certain occupations deemed hazardous or potentially hazardous for young persons. Provisions limiting youth exposure to potentially detrimental occupations primarily include use of harmful or corrosive chemicals, high-powered machinery, or working at great heights. The list below represents the jobs for teenagers restricted by the State of Hawaii:

  • Assisting with or Driving Motor Vehicles
  • Work Exposing Minors to Radiation or Ionizing Substances
  • Use of Powered Shears, Metal-Forming, or Punching Equipment
  • Rendering Plants or Packaging/Slaughtering Meat
  • Operation of Elevators or Powered Hoisting Apparatus
  • Use Power-Operated Bakery Machines
  • Work Involving Powered Paper Product Machinery, i.e. Guillotine Cutters or Mitering Machines
  • Brick and Tile Manufacturing
  • Use of Circular and/or Band Saws
  • Wrecking or Demolition
  • Excavation/Mining
  • Logging or Mill Work
  • Agricultural Operations (except Coffee/Pineapple Harvesting)

Minors under the age of sixteen fall under special provisions in The Aloha State further restricting occupations deemed potentially hazardous or imminently hazardous to the health of youths. State law prohibits individuals under 16 from assuming employment in jobs involving manufacturing or mechanical processing of any kind, use or tending of hoisting apparatus, public messenger services, work involving boiler rooms, maintenance or repair of mechanical equipment, window washing, use, maintenance, or cleaning of food slicers, choppers, cutters, or bakery mixers, work in freezers or meat coolers, loading or unloading trucks, use of conveyor belts, work in warehouses (except clerical jobs), or any transportation of persons or goods, regardless of vehicle type.

source: Hawaii child labor laws source: Certificate of age information
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