Legal Age to Work in Nebraska

Minimum Age to Work in NE

Nebraska (NE) Quick Reference Table

Age Summary of Requirements
14-15 Employer Must have a Class 1 work permit, Hour restrictions are in place during the school year. Commonly work in retail, clerical and child care occupations. May not work  in places that sell or serve alcohol.
16-17 Employer Must have Class 2 work permit, May work between the hours of 5:00am and 10:00pm. See the link below for the prohibited occupations.
18-20 Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21 Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.

Nebraska Child Labor Laws

The State of Nebraska allows individuals as young as 14 years of age to participate in gainful employment. However, since many industries prove dangerous and unsuitable for minors, labor laws must remain in place to ensure protection of youth citizens. Along with hour restrictions that prevent employment from interfering with the youths’ education, minors aged 14 and 15 require employment certificates. Employers must also post a list of all employed minors near the main entrance of the establishment and keep a detailed copy for each minor as part of official records.

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Employment Certificate

Employment certificates safeguard both youth employees and employers and remain mandatory for minors standing at fourteen and fifteen, with the exception of those working as golf caddies or under the supervision of their parents. Getting an application from a school guidance counselor allows these Nebraska teens to start weekend work during the semester, while knowing how to get a work permit in the summer prepares them for job hunting when school is out. The following details explain the requirements and steps for obtaining a work permit.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

In Nebraska, all minors under the age of 16 must have an employment certificate before they can join the workforce.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

The form remains available at most school district offices or online at the state’s Department of Labor website. 

    • Get a job offer from an employer with a Class I Employment certificate for hiring young minors.
    • The teen, their legal guardian and the potential employer must complete each section of the form.
    • Submit the filled-out application and proof of age document (i.e. school records, birth certificate, passport, baptismal certificate, etc) to the district superintendent’s office.
    • Once , the issuer approves the application, one copy of the certificate stays with the minor, one goes on file in the Nebraska Department of Labor, and one must remain on file with the employer. 

How Many Hours Can a Minor Work?

Employers should take note that state hour restrictions vary greatly from Nebraska to federal law. If the business falls under federal jurisdiction, hour restrictions for minors are more strict. According to state regulations, minors aged 14 to 17 may work up to eight hours a day and 48 hours in a given week. Fourteen and fifteen year olds can work shifts between the hours of 6:00am and 8:00pm, while those who are 16 or 17 may work as late as 10:00pm. However, special employers of certain occupations may apply for permits allowing minors to work later , provided the following morning is a non-school day.


Due to its position as a major producer of corn, the state of Nebraska allows labor law exemptions for the occupation of detasseling. Minors as young as 12 years of age may participate in detasseling during the months of June, July, and August, as long as they have written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Employers  appoint at least two supervisors over the age of 18 for every worker under 16, and the underage workers can perform their tasks for up to nine hours a day or 48 hours a week. Employees under fourteen may start their work day at 6:00am and must finish their work by 8:00pm while all other minors may work until 10:00pm.

Minors working in the performing arts also stand exempt from regular restrictions. These jobs include any musical or theatrical presentation, theater performances, radio engagements, and television shows and movies. With written consent from a parent or guardian, minors may obtain a permit which excuses them from regular hour restrictions.

Restricted Professions

Nebraska law clearly prohibits minors from employment that could be life threatening, likely to compromise the health of the minor, or probable to deprave the morals of the minor. To ensure protection, the following industries and jobs remain illegal for a minor to hold:

  • Manufacturing and Processing
  • Mining and Quarries
  • Communications
  • Construction and Repair
  • Any Occupation Involving Power-Driven Machinery
  • Driving Motor Vehicles
  • Warehousing and Storage
  • Cooking and Baking
  • Meat Processing
  • Maintenance and Window Washing
  • Any Occupation Involving Explosives
  • Forestry Services, Logging, and Saw Mills
  • Exposure to Radioactivity
  • Wreaking and Demolition
  • Roofing

source: Nebraska child labor laws

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