Legal Age to Work in Michigan

Minimum Age to Work in AL

Michigan (MI) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15May be employed between the hours of 7:00am and 9:00pm. Combined hours of school and work cannot exceed 48 hours in a work week.
16-17May be employed between the hours of 6:00am and 10:30pm Sunday through Thursday. Employed no more than 18 hours while school is in session.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

Michigan Child Labor Laws

The Youth Employment Standards Act of 1978 unambiguously establishes the rules and regulations for child labor in the State of Michigan. The state defines a minor as an individual less than eighteen years of age. Companies hiring child workers need to display the appropriate poster of rights and requirements on location. Employers also need to provide supervision by an adult for workers under 18 at all times.

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

Though the minimum age for employment in the Wolverine State stands at 14 years of age, exceptions to the rule do exist as long as a supervising adult remains present. Minors between the ages of eleven and fourteen may serve as athletic referees at sporting events for age groups younger than the individuals. 11 year olds may also gain employment as caddies for golf or bridge. In addition, individuals 13 and older may work setting traps for informal clay shooting events.

Youth Work Permits

All persons under the age of 18 need work permits or training agreements from the school the minor attends before procuring employment. Minors must obtain the certifications prior to employment, whose employers must keep the documents on file. Among other information, the form must include name and contact information of a parent or guardian. Work Permit documents stand available for download and printing on the Michigan Department of Education website.

The issuing officer, a chief administrator or an individual acting on the behalf of the administrator, represents the school district in which the minor wishes to gain employment and helps coordinate the hiring process. Both the prospective employer and worker fill out the respective sections of the work permit. After the document stands ready, the issuing official reviews and signs the completed form, keeping a copy in the permanent school record of the minor. The officer also retains the right to revoke the work permit if employment proves a detriment to the performance of the child academically. Once employment ends, the employer must return the permit to the same official.

Legal Hours Teens Can Work

How Many Hours can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work
Teenagers sixteen and seventeen years of age may work no more than 24 hours per school week or 48 hours during a non-school week. After 5 hours, underage workers must take uninterrupted meal breaks. Employers must document the rest periods. Minors may never remain working past 10:30pm or 11:3pm on weekends falling with school out of session. During any week, individuals must not work more than 10 hours in a given day or more than 6 days in a 7-day interval.

Work Hours for Minors 15 and Under
Fourteen and fifteen year olds may work no more than 18 hours in an academic week. Outside of the school year, individuals must work less than 40 hours a week. Minors may not labor past 9:00pm between June 1st and Labor day, and not past 7:00pm otherwise. The same meal break provisions apply to 14 and 15 year olds as described for sixteen and seventeen year olds.

Restricted Occupations for Minors

Where can 16 and 17 Year Olds Work in Michigan?
The State of Michigan deems some occupations unsuitable for minors. Due to the hazardous or unsafe nature of some occupations, or high levels of responsibility required, individuals may not hold certain life-threatening or dangerous jobs. While many jobs for teens continue to stay available, the list below details positions and duties which minors seventeen years of age and under remain prohibited from:

  • Construction (Excluding some Cleanup Duties)
  • Handling Clay or Silica Products
  • Work with Explosives or Loaded Firearms
  • Sawmill and Logging Jobs
  • Working with a Hoisting Apparatus
  • Working in Mines and Quarries
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Work with Power Driven Machinery
  • Handling Radioactive Materials/Self-Luminous Compounds
  • Slaughtering/Meat Packing/Rendering
  • Work with Respiratory Equipment
  • Tanning (Animal Hides)
  • Exposure to Blood-borne Pathogens
  • Work with Boats or other Watercraft
  • Garbage Carts
  • Work with Hot Grease or Oil
  • Repairing or Servicing Kansmacker Machines
  • Work Involving Knives
  • Laminators
  • Pharmacies and Prescription Drug Delivery
  • Power Drills (Over 3/8″ Chuck)
  • Dispensing Propane Gas
  • Tire Changing

Restricted Jobs for 14 and 15 Year Olds
All employment opportunities prohibited for 16 and 17 year olds also bar minors fourteen and fifteen years of age from work, as well. In addition, other jobs stand inaccessible to the younger class of persons able to work in Michigan. For further restriction information, interested parties may contact the Wage and Hour Division of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. The below list contains unobtainable occupations specific to children 14 and 15 years of age:

  • Work in Confined Spaces
  • Construction (Including Cleanup)
  • Extinguishment of Fires
  • Work with/on Ladders or Scaffolding
  • Ore Reduction/Casting Metals
  • Welding
  • Amusement Parks (Operation/Maintenance of Rides)
  • Work on/near Conveyor Belts
  • Go-Cart Spotters
  • Gator Vehicles/Golf Carts (Not on a Public Road)
  • Work with Snow Blowers
  • Sewing Machines in a Manufacturing Process
  • Peddling/Door-to-Door Sales For Profit

Exemptions

While children under sixteen may not work in establishments selling or serving alcohol, 16 and 17 year olds may hold employment in businesses where alcoholic beverages constitute less than 50% of total sales, though minors may not sell or serve alcohol in any capacity. Minors above 15 may also operate non-agricultural tractors and lawn mowers, work to extinguish fires with some restrictions, and take tickets for carnival rides while helping passengers board and exit attractions. Once older than fourteen years, children become eligible to apply for lifeguard positions, as well.

The State of Michigan allows several exceptions to labor regulations in the field of agriculture. With parental permission, children under 12 may work non-hazardous jobs during non-school hours on small farms which lack requirements to pay the Federal Minimum wage. Rules gradually relax as individuals age, and all agricultural jobs become available once an individual turns 16. Due to an exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act, minors of any age may work any job at any time if the labor takes place on a farm operated or owned by a parent or guardian to the child.

source: Michigan child labor laws
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