Legal Age to Work in New Jersey

Minimum Age to Work in NJ

New Jersey (NJ) Quick Reference Table

Age Summary of Requirements
14-15 Unable to work before 7:00am or after 7:00pm.
16-17 May only work between the hours of 6:00am and 11:00pm.
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.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in New Jersey?

Any person under 18 years of age, the generally accepted age of legal adulthood, exists as a minor in the State of New Jersey. While New Jersey minors are able to attain jobs, there are restrictions on the types of work they can perform. Eleven and twelve year olds, for example, such as newspaper delivery, farming and entertainment industry work. Other jobs include such as nursery work, the raising of animals, gardening, and forestry are available with parental consent.

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Restrictions on Work Hours

Once minors find jobs, New Jersey places strict regulations on the amount of hours they can work. Employees who are 14 or 15 are unable to work more than three hours a day or more than 18 hours in a given school week. Outside of school hours, these teens may work for eight daily hours and 40 hours weekly. These youths are also only able to work between 7:00am and 7:00pm. Sixteen and seventeen year olds can work eight hours a day and 40 hours a week all year round, so long as their shifts stay  between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:00 pm. Additionally, 16 and 17 year olds may work as late as 3:00 am during school vacation as long as the employer obtains written permission from a parent or guardian to keep on file. All minors  may work a maximum of six consecutive days, and must receive a 30 minute break for every 5 hours of work.

Individuals 12 years of age and younger must also adhere to special hours restrictions. Minors working in agriculture have a limit of ten hours of work a day with one day off per week. Those with Newspaper routes may only work between 7:00am and 7:00pm for three hours a day and 18 hours a week. Kids in theater have restrictions of two productions a day, fewer than eight shows a week, and performances and rehearsals under five hours a day or 24 hours a week Young entertainers are also only able to work between the hours of 7:00 am and 11:30 pm.

New Jersey Work Permits

Every minor in the State of New Jersey must obtain an employment certificate before they may legally work. Though many schools supply their students with the necessary paperwork, local government offices and websites can show minors how to get a work permit in the summer.

  • Do you need a work permit during summer?

Yes. New Jersey minors must have an employment certificate before they can start a new job.

  • Where can I get a work permit besides school?

The necessary forms remain available through the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, or at a local school district office.

  • How do I get a work permit during summer

    • Apply for a non-hazardous occupation and receive a job offer.
    • Pick up or download an employment certificate application, and fill it out with a legal guardian and the potential employer.
    • Some jobs may require a physical and letter from a doctor stating the minor is capable of performing tasks 
    • Submit all completed forms and a proof of age document (birth certificate, baptismal record, state ID, etc.), along with  proof of parental consent to work to the local board of education office.
    • The issuing officer will determine the minor’s eligibility to get a job based on scheduling and academic performance, and approve the minor’s work permit.

Prohibited Occupations

Even with a proper work permit, some occupations remain too hazardous for minors. Generally, minors are unable to perform work that involves handling paint, lead, other dangerous chemicals or toxins, or explosives. The operation of power tools and heavy machinery also stands prohibited. It is also illegal for Individuals under the age of 18 to work in an establishment that serve or sell alcohol for consumption on the premises,. They are also unable to work in settings that require indecent exposure, construction, meat packaging and slaughtering, or in mines, or quarries.

source: New Jersey child labor laws
source: New Jersey Child Labor Hours Restrictions

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