Legal Age to Work in Mississippi

Minimum Age to Work in MS

Mississippi (MS) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Cannot work more than 18 hours per week or more than 3 hours per day when school is in session. Cannot work before 7:00am or after 7:00pm.
16-17Cannot work in any vocation which has been declared by Rule or Regulation of the Secretary of Labor to be dangerous or injurious to the life, health, morals or welfare of a 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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Mississippi Child Labor Laws

According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, underage labor laws in the state remain enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, or WHD, of the United States Department of Labor. When state-specific standards do not exist, federal law normally supersedes and serves as established protocol within the state regarding underage employment. Otherwise, the more stringent of the two provisions takes precedence. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, remains the establishing authority on many work regulations nationwide.

Work Regulations

Do Teens Need a Work Permit in Mississippi?
Though many states require underage laborers in all occupations to obtain work permits, regulations in Mississippi prove narrow. Employment certificates stand necessary for minors 15 years of age and younger in factory, mill, cannery, or workshop jobs. State and federal laws mandate the requirement. Juveniles may acquire the document through issuance from local schools. No existing state policy requires age verification documents for minors in Mississippi.

What Hours Can a Minor Work in Mississippi?
The WHD lists partial hour restrictions for Mississippi teens in certain limited circumstances. The following legal provisions apply to individuals under 16 years of age: Minors may not work more than eight hours a single day or 40 hours in one week if the individual holds employment in a factory, workshop, mill, or cannery job. All labor must take place between 6:00am and 7:00pm.

Work Prohibitions for Minors

Hazardous Occupations
All individuals under 18, considered minors under federal law, face restrictions for work in Mississippi. Jobs dangerous and potentially threatening to the health and safety of teens. In some cases, exemptions may apply to student learners and apprentices. The following list represents occupations deemed hazardous by the FLSA:

  • Work with Explosives
  • Work with Radioactive Substances
  • Mining
  • Logging/Sawmill Work
  • Forest Fire Prevention/Fighting
  • Packing or Processing Meat/Poultry
  • Wrecking/Demolition
  • Work with Power-driven Machinery
  • Roofing
  • Excavation
  • Work with Balers/Compactors
  • Driving/Working as an Outside Helper on a Motor Vehicle

Jobs for 14 and 15 Year Olds
In general, the minimum age for employment sits at 16 years old in Mississippi. However, legal provisions of the FLSA allow juveniles less than sixteen years of age to work in specific occupations for gainful benefit. Jobs without high likelihood of injury generally remain valuable opportunities for children to reap experience critical to future careers and theoretically learn applicable new skills on site. Permitted duties for 14 and 15 year olds include, though do not necessarily stand limited to:

  • Office/Clerical Work
  • Cashiering
  • Non-cooking Kitchen Work
  • Intellectual/Artistic Work
  • Pricing/Tagging Goods
  • Packing/Shelving Goods
  • Pumping Gas
  • Delivery on Foot/Bicycle

Additional Information

The State of Mississippi implements no law requiring a minimum wage for employees. Instead, employers must pay workers based on the federal minimum wage requirements. Exceptions to some labor laws become relevant in certain industries, such as agriculture, which remains exempt from the same legal regulations as non-farming jobs. For further information on agricultural rules and other child labor laws in Mississippi, individuals may contact the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

source: Mississippi child labor laws
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