Child Labor Laws

What is Child Labor Laws?

Child labor law, enacted by the Federal Government, restricts when children can work and what jobs they can do. Teens hired for non-agricultural employment (which is just about everything other than farm work) must be at least fourteen. Other child labor law restrictions, regulating the type of positions young workers can hold and the type of work they can do are also in effect.

Child Labor Laws Specifically to Georgia

Minors under the age of 16 may work no more than:
  • 4 hours on a school day
  • 8 hours on a non-school day
  • 40 hours during a non-school week
Minors under the age of 16 may :
  • Not work before 6 a.m.
  • Not work after 9 p.m.
No minor under 16 years of age shall be permitted to work during the hours when public or private schools are in session unless said minor has completed senior high school or has been excused from attendance in school by a county or independent school system board of education in accordance with the general policies and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education.

Child Labor Laws in Africa and Chile


· In Chile no child under 15 can work for pay. If the child is between the ages of 15 and 16, the job cannot interfere with compulsory schooling, health or development. For all minors under 18, permission is needed from a parent or guardian. Children under 18 are not allowed to work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., unless the job is part of a family business. No child under 18 can work for more than eight hours each day, and no one under 21 can work underground without a physical exam.


· Africa is the poorest continent on the face of the planet, and often considered the most effected by child labor. Over 70% of the region lives and works in extremely poor conditions. Of the 250 million children worldwide, it is estimated that 32% work in Africa. In Africa, most of the children work in agriculture.

Child Labor Laws Specifically to Ohio

Minors 14 and 15

  • When school is IN session minors 14 & 15 cannot be employed before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.; work more than 3 hours on any School Day; work more than 18 hours in any School Week; work during school hours, unless employment is incidental to bona fide vocational training program.
  • When school is NOT in session minors 14 & 15 cannot be employed before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.; work more than 8 hours per day; work more than 40 hours per week.

Minors 16 and 17

  • When school is IN session minors 16 & 17 cannot be employed before 7:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. if not employed after 8:00 p.m. the previous night; or after 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. There is no limitation in hours per day or week.
  • When school is NOT in session minors 16 & 17 have no limitation as to the starting and ending time and no limitation in hours per day or week.

Interesting Fact

  • In the late 1700's and early 1800's, power-driven machines replaced hand labor for the making of most manufactured items. Factories began to spring up everywhere, first in England and then in the United States. The owners of these factories found a new source of labor to run their machines — children. Operating the power-driven machines did not require adult strength, and children could be hired more cheaply than adults. By the mid-1800's, child labor was a major problem.
  • Children had always worked, especially in farming. But factory work was hard. A child with a factory job might work 12 to 18 hours a day, six days a week, to earn a dollar. Many children began working before the age of 7, tending machines in spinning mills or hauling heavy loads. The factories were often damp, dark, and dirty. Some children worked underground, in coal mines. The working children had no time to play or go to school, and little time to rest. They often became ill.