Minimum Age to Work in SCSouth Carolina (SC) Quick Reference Table
|Age||Summary of Requirements|
|14-15||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.|
|16-17||Cannot 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.|
|18-20||Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption|
|21||Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.|
South Carolina Child Labor Laws
Laws governing jobs for teens in South Carolina stand identical to federal laws imposed on the same subject. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation establishes the policies for how old a child can work in the state. Though some exceptions may override the rule, the minimum age to work in South Carolina stands at 14 years of age for a majority of jobs.
What Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work in South Carolina?
During school weeks, individuals under 16 years of age may work no more than three hours per day. The total hours of labor in a week must stay less than 18. Minors may not work between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am. The regulations pertain to any day in the calendar where school remains in standard academic session. On non-school weeks, minors may work up to eight hours a day and 40 weekly. The time constraint also extends to 9:00pm.
No restrictions apply to the permissible work shifts of teenagers sixteen years of age and older. Individuals may work as needed to meet the requirements of the position. When an employee starts a job, the supervisor or manager must notify the worker in writing of the normal hours of anticipated labor. South Carolina law does not require employers to provide workers with meal breaks or rest periods.
South Carolina employers must keep the updated labor laws posted in the workplace at all times. When hiring a minor, the company must obtain a legal document as verification of age, such as a birth certificate or a driver’s license. The State Department of Labor provides federal certification of age for minors upon request. As the State of South Carolina upholds no provisions for work certificates or permits, none stand required for teenage applicants to gain employment. South Carolina employers must obey the provisions of the law or face fines and legal penalties.
Jobs for 14 and 15 Year Olds
Generally, state law allows minors to hold clerical, office, and service jobs. Benefits of working at a young age, such as practical experience, responsibility, and social development, encourage youths to seek out work. Jobs available to fourteen and fifteen year olds include cleaning fruits and vegetables as well as stocking, weighing, and pricing produce, gas station work and other courtesy services, and delivery duties on foot, bike, or bus. Additional occupational duties fourteen and fifteen year olds stand permitted to perform include:
- Cashier Duties
- Cleanup Work
- Car Washing/Polishing
- Serving Foods/Beverages
Restricted Duties for Children under 16
For safety purposes, several positions and duties may not utilize child labor. South Carolina law dictates the importance of avoiding oppressive work conditions for minors. Such occupations may prove hazardous to the well-being and health of individuals without experience. The following list outlines jobs restricted for 14 and 15 year old workers:
- Warehouse/Storage Work
- Food Preparation/Use of Grinders
- Public Utility Duties
- Car Repair
- Work on Ladders/Scaffolding
- Operation of Lawnmowers/Golf Carts
Banned Positions for All Minors
Once a minor turns eighteen, child labor regulations cease to apply to the individual. Until adulthood, no underage individuals may hold gainful employment in or related to any of the following occupations:
- Work with Explosives
- Driving a Motor Vehicle
- Manufacturing Brick/Tile
- Exposure to Radiations
- Work with Power-driven Machinery
- Meat Packing/Processing
Jobs related to show business remain accessible to individuals under age 14. Acting or performing in a theatrical, film, or radio production constitutes legal employment for children in the Palmetto State. Minors may also hold employment in newspaper delivery occupations at any capable age. Agricultural jobs remain open as well, provided the parents of minors also work at the same establishment. In addition, children may work at any age for a business exclusively owned by the parents of the child, except in hazardous or dangerous occupations.