Legal Age to Work in Rhode Island

Minimum Age to Work in RI

Rhode Island (RI) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Cannot work during school hours. Cannot 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.
16-17Must have Class 2 work permit. Cannot work after 10:00pm or before 5:00am. See the link below for the prohibited occupations.
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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Rhode Island Child Labor Laws

In the State of Rhode Island, workers must fall at least 14 years of age in order to assume employment for monetary gains. The Labor Standards Unit serves as the governing body which oversees the implementation and enforcement of child labor laws in the state as well as laws concerning holiday pay, overtime, and state minimum wage. Workers under the age of 18 constitute the legal definition of minors. Young job seekers of certain ages may The state also places restrictions on types of jobs available to minors, hours minors may work, and avenues through which teenagers may apply for jobs.

Work Permits in Rhode Island

Employment hopefuls fourteen to sixteen face further legal scrutiny and regulation in The Ocean State. Individuals legally able to work under the age of 16 must obtain official documents called Special Limited Work Permits. The state may also require applicants between the ages of 16 and 17 to possess Certificate of Age documents, which prove the ability for minors to assume certain jobs otherwise restricted to 14 and 15 year olds.

How To Obtain a Special Limited Work Permit or Certificate of Age
Once an employer and a minor enter into an formal agreement, in which both parties consent to hire, the employer must fill out an Intent to Employ a Minor Form and return the document to the potential employee. Minors must then take the form to a local school for filing and issuance of a Special Limited Work Permit or Certificate of Age. A birth certificate, passport, official school transcript, or driver’s license must accompany the Intent to Employ a Minor Form for official certification. Baptismal Certificates also serve as adequate supplementary forms.

Jobs for Teens 14 and 15

Under the provisions established by The Labor Standards Unit for underage employment, minors may work only in industries and occupations deemed suitable both to the health and safety of younger workers under 18. Potential jobs must also not interfere with academic studies and adhere to several restrictions regarding scheduling. Employers must keep both Certificates of Age and Special Limited Work Permits on file at the establishment of hire at all times throughout the tenure of each young worker employed. The industries and occupations best suited for workers under both federal labor laws and Rhode Island youth labor laws include:

  • Advertising
  • Cooking, Food Prep, Waiting
  • Environmental Services
  • Delivery
  • Retail/Grocery Bagging
  • Grounds-keeping
  • Office/Administrative/Clerical Work
  • Price-marking

Prohibited Work for Rhode Island Minors

Minors looking for work in Rhode Island face certain restrictions on occupations. While several industries remain available and accessible for minors to find employment, occupations using potentially deadly or life-threatening equipment, such power-driven machines, scaffolds, and explosives. Specific industries Rhode Island labor laws bar minors from assuming include logging, mining, demolition, roofing, excavating, and manufacturing.

Hours Restrictions

In efforts to minimize impacts employment may impose on primary educations, Rhode Island child labor laws limit the schedules minors may assume while on the job. Restrictions take the form of limited hours and specific days in which young persons may work. Law provides for varying schedules restrictions between 14 and 15 year olds and 16 and 17 year olds.

How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?
In Rhode Island, no minor aged fourteen or fifteen may tally more than 40 hours per week. During school terms, 14 and 15 year olds may work no more than 18 hours in a week. Minors aged 14 and 15 may not work during school hours, before 6:00am, or after 7:00pm. However, federal law allows for younger workers between the ages of fourteen and fifteen additional hours spanning from 7:00pm to 9:00pm during summer months (June 1 thru Labor Day). Individuals may work no more than eight hours in a single day. Occupations falling under federal law may only permit three hours of work on school days.

How Many Hours Can a 16 or 17 Year Old Work?
Sixteen and seventeen year olds also face hours restrictions in the State of Rhode Island. As in the case of restrictions placed on 14 and 15 year olds, the provisions limiting hours 16 and 17 year olds may assume prevent employment from hindering the academic pursuits of minors. Minors between the ages of sixteen and seventeen may not work more than 48 hours per week and no more than nine hours per day. Schedules must begin after 6:00am and end before 11:30pm (1:30am on nights not preceding school days). During school breaks, 16 and 17 year olds face no hours limitations under state law. Minors 16 and 17 not attending primary schools, i.e. dropouts, do not face hours restrictions either.

Respite
By law, the Rhode Island Labor Standard Unit enforces an eight-hour respite from employment between shifts for working minors. Employers and young employees alike must honor mandatory cessations or work duties for at least eight hours before resuming another shift. State provisions clearly define the cessation or respite as full work stoppage between the end of one shift and start of another.

source: Rhode Island child labor laws
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