Legal Age to Work in Virginia

Minimum Age to Work in VA

Virginia (VA) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Must have an employment certificate, have limited work hours, and cannot work in certain jobs. 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.
16-17Cannot 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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Virginia Child Labor Laws

Designed to protect the interests of working minors throughout the state, Virginia child labor laws impose age restrictions and other limitations on jobs for teenagers. The Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) administers statewide labor laws and makes sure employers follow all regulations concerning the legal working age. For most jobs, the minimum age to work in Virginia starts at 14 years. However, DOLI allows minors as young as 12 to accept employment in certain occupations deemed suitable for children. Furthermore, while anyone above the minimum working age may legally become employed, workers younger than 18 must comply with various policies mandated by the state and directed exclusively at minors.

Exceptions to Virginia Child Labor Laws
Despite being legally barred from most types of jobs, individuals under the age of 14 remain eligible for employment in specific fields where the work environment proves safe enough for preteens and younger teenagers. According to Virginia child labor laws, newspaper delivery positions make acceptable jobs for 12 year olds and 13 year olds. The state also waives age restrictions for acting jobs and for work performed at a business owned by the parent of the underage employee. Other appropriate jobs for kids younger than 14 include nonhazardous positions at agricultural institutions like farms, gardens, and orchards. Regardless of the occupation, minor employees may only work outside of school hours.

How Many Hours Can a 14 or 15 Year Old Work?

Fourteen and fifteen year olds also face restrictions regarding hours available for work. In addition to prohibiting minors from working during school hours, Virginia labor laws forbid employees between the ages of 14 and 15 to work more than 3 hours on a school day or 18 hours during a school week. The maximum number of work hours increases to 8 per day and 40 per week during the summer and other holiday periods or times when school remains closed. Furthermore, jobs for 14 year olds and jobs for 15 year olds in Virginia may not begin prior to 7:00am or end after 7:00pm each day. However, between June 1 and Labor Day, fourteen and fifteen year old employees may work until 9:00pm at the latest. Minors older than 15 encounter no restrictions on work hours.

Jobs Restricted From Minors

While 16 and 17 year old workers enjoy freedom from restrictive hours on the job, Virginia child labor laws place limits on the types of occupations underage individuals may pursue. Even minors above the legal working age remain prohibited from jobs involving manufacturing, logging or sawmilling, mining, roofing, meatpacking, and serving alcoholic beverages. State labor laws also prohibit all employees under the age of 18 from operating heavy machinery or becoming exposed to hazardous substances at work. Jobs requiring workers to operate a motor vehicle become available to minors, with certain restrictions, at age 17.

Jobs For Teenagers in Virginia

In spite of the limits imposed on working minors, jobs for teens in Virginia often prove easy to find. Bowling alleys, restaurants, and public swimming pools make ideal workplaces for 14 and 15 year olds, while older minors frequently land jobs at commercial establishments like hotels, movie theaters, and retail outlets. Virginia labor laws require job seekers under the age of 16 to obtain a work permit prior to beginning employment. Also called an employment certificate, the work permit includes copies for the employer, the school attended by the working minor, and DOLI. Underage job seekers may find the necessary forms either at a local high school or the DOLI website. After verifying the age of the applicant, DOLI sends the workers permit directly to the employer.

source: Virginia child labor laws
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