Legal Age to Work in South Dakota

Minimum Age to Work in SD

South Dakota (SD) 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.
16-17No work hour restrictions. 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.
18-20Must 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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South Dakota Child Labor Laws

The codified laws of the South Dakota Legislature explicitly define the rules for employing minors in the state. Employers should possess extensive knowledge of applicable laws before hiring juveniles so as to protect the business and the minor from harm. Workers also benefit from knowing pertinent rights and procedures. The Department of Labor and Regulation, or DLR, stands as the principal agency regulating work laws in the state.

At What Age Can a Child Work in South Dakota?

Generally, individuals in South Dakota gain the privilege to work at the age of 14. The DLR lists recommended jobs for 14 and 15 year olds, including office work, grocery and retail associate positions, restaurant staff, and movie theater occupations. Children younger than fourteen may still babysit, deliver newspapers, and work in television, film, radio and theatrical productions. Once a minor turns 16, work becomes accessible without state restrictions, though federal laws related to dangerous occupations still apply.

What Hours Can a Minor Work in South Dakota?

Regulations on work hours exist to prevent jobs from interfering with the education of minors. School hours stand defined by South Dakota laws as any day or week when academic classes remain in session and administrative officials expect minors to attend. Minors under 16 may not labor after 10:00pm on school nights, while youth citizens under the age of 14 may not work past 7:00pm. Children under fourteen may also never work during school hours.

Workers under 16 years of age face further limitations on labor hours. During school weeks, teens may work for three hours daily and up to 18 hours per week. Non-academic periods allow juveniles to work eight hours in one day and up to 40 hours per week. When discrepancies exist between state and federal law, workers and employers must abide by the stricter of the two standards.

Occupations for South Dakota Minors

Hazardous Jobs
State provisions on restricted jobs in South Dakota exist to prevent minors from working in vocations deemed threatening to youth well-being, safety, and ethics. Restrictions remain largely comprised of dangerous professions with daily risks and difficulties. The following occupations stand forbidden to juveniles by the regulations of federal and state law:

  • Mining, Including Coal
  • Slaughtering/Meat Packing
  • Work in Sawmills/Logging
  • Manufacturing Brick/Tile Products
  • Work with Power-driven Machinery
  • Excavation
  • Roofing
  • Wrecking/Demolition
  • Exposure to Radioactive Substances
  • Work with Explosives

Exceptions
Several exceptions apply to labor laws on restricted work in South Dakota. Agricultural occupations become accessible to exempt minors in possession of certificates from relevant state or federal agencies and after the completion of safety courses. Specific provisions also allow minors to aid in the detasseling of hybrid seed corn during harvest season. Youth 14 years of age and older may pump and dispense gasoline, oil, and diesel fuel at service stations. Juveniles employed by parents stand excluded from employment prohibition laws, as well.

In some cases, minors may obtain otherwise inaccessible jobs whether the restrictions stand based on age, hours, or danger. The DLR investigates familial financial backgrounds and decides if the work of the minor persists as necessary for the continued financial stability of the family unit. If the DLR resolves labor stands compulsory, the department issues support permits to allow minors to gain employment. The permit regulates the hours and particular jobs minors may work in each situation.

Information for Employers

Employers in the Mount Rushmore State must keep work records for all employed minors continually available. Inspections may occur without notice and at any time. Cleanliness and sanitation of work areas, along with separate-sex restrooms and non-discriminatory policies, comprise legal requirements for business owners hiring underage laborers. Enforcement of child labor laws remains the duty of the South Dakota DLR.

source: South Dakota child labor laws
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