Legal Age to Work in Maryland

Minimum Age to Work in MD

Maryland (MD) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Required to have a Minor Work Permit. Employers are required to have a work permit
16-17Required to have a Minor Work Permit. Employers are required to have a work permit
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 Maryland?

Maryland child labor laws exist to ensure the safety, welfare, and continued academic progress of workers under the age of 18. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation enforces a series of youth labor laws, which establish the minimum age to work and specify appropriate as well as prohibited jobs for teenagers. According to state and federal labor laws, job seekers between the ages of 14 and 17 may become formally employed only after obtaining special work permits for minors. The State of Maryland withholds work permits until applicants actually secure an official job offer.

While most jobs for teens in Maryland require procurement of a work permit upon gaining employment, state labor laws include several exceptions based on the age of the worker and the nature of the occupation. Children under the legal working age of 14, for instance, remain barred from mainstream jobs but, with a special permit exclusive to the entertainment industry, retain authorization to work as models, performers, or entertainers. Furthermore, Maryland child labor laws generally do not apply to underage employees working on farms, in homes as domestic assistants, in family-run businesses owned by a parent, on golf courses as a caddy, and as newspaper carriers. Teenage counselors at certified youth camps and unpaid volunteers working for nonprofit organizations typically enjoy exemption from state labor laws, as well.

Maryland Child Labor Laws

In addition to identifying exceptions to Maryland child labor laws, the state maintains a list of occupations deemed hazardous for underage workers. The list primarily includes jobs in the excavating, hazardous waste disposal, logging, manufacturing, meatpacking, mining, roofing, and woodworking industries. Additionally, jobs for 14 year olds and jobs for 15 year olds in Maryland cannot involve working at an airport, brickyard, construction site, lumberyard, or railroad. Despite the potential hazards associated with the occupation, volunteer firefighting jobs remain accessible to residents 16 years of age or older upon enrollment in classes pertaining to firefighting or rescue techniques.

Sanctioned jobs for teenagers in Maryland come with several restrictions set forth by the child labor laws of the state. In addition to needing a workers permit, employees between 14 and 17 years old must comply with regulations regarding the number of hours minors can work on a daily and weekly basis. Maryland labor laws require jobs for 14 year olds and jobs for 15 year olds to last no more than 4 hours a day and 23 hours per week during the academic year, excluding weekends. On weekends as well as during the summer, fourteen and fifteen year olds may work up to eight hours per day and forty hours a week. At 14 and 15 years of age, employees may only work between 7:00am and 8:00pm

Sixteen and seventeen year old workers in Maryland enjoy less restrictive child labor laws with regards to job scheduling. The state requires 16 and 17 year olds to spend no more than 12 hours at school and work combined each day. According to Maryland labor laws, jobs for 16 year olds and jobs for 17 year olds must also give employees at least an 8-hour break from both work and school within a 24-hour period. All jobs for teens under the age of 18 must feature a break of at least 30 minutes after 5 consecutive hours of work, as well.

Jobs Available to Maryland Minors

Despite prohibiting minors from gaining employment in several occupations, Maryland child labor laws still allow teens throughout the state to access a number of jobs for kids. Retail jobs as well as positions at both fast food and full-service restaurants often create ideal opportunities for employment for minors. While restaurant jobs like host and busser positions frequently prove popular among underage teens, only employees 18 years of age or older can work in establishments serving alcohol.

Maryland Work Permit Regulations

In order to legally qualify for employment, job seekers between the ages of 14 and 17 must obtain an application for a work permit from a local high school or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. The application includes sections for the employer and parent or guardian of the underage worker to complete, as well. To receive approval to begin working, applicants must take the form as well as proof of age to an issuing officer. Acceptable proof of age includes a birth certificate, school records, Maryland driver’s license, and any other government document showing the birthdate of the potential employee.

source: Maryland child labor laws
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