Laws and Regulations
This policy outlines legal requirements under federal and state law that generally apply to employment of minors in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. While federal law applies in all cases, the location of the job site determines which state laws may apply.
Before employment, minors under age 18 (age 16 in Virginia) must obtain a work permit from the school district in which the job site is located. Work permit procedures vary according to age:
Departments employing a minor must submit the work permit along with other hiring documents to the appropriate Human Resources department. Work permits will be kept on file by Human Resources and will be available for inspection by authorized individuals.
- 16 or 17 year olds—The University department must complete an Intention to Employ card, indicating the type of work the individual will perform, the work schedule, and the hours per week. The individual must take the completed card, together with a birth certificate or other proof of age, to the appropriate school or work permit office (in the jurisdiction where the job site is located).
- 14 or 15 year olds—The individual must follow the same procedure as listed for 16 or 17 year olds. In addition, a 14 or 15 year old may be required by applicable state law to provide a letter of consent from a parent or guardian and a health clearance from a physician.
Hours of Work
The following restrictions apply to the number of hours per day or week that a minor may work:
||Maximum hours per day or week
||Non school hours; 3 hrs/day and 18 hrs/week
|Non school days
||8 hrs/day and 40 hrs/week
||6 consecutive days
||12 hrs/day (work plus school time)
||8 hrs/day, 6 consecutive days/week; 48 hrs/week
In addition, there are limitations on the work schedule starting and ending times for minors:
||7:00 am to 7:00 pm
||6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Virginia and Maryland require that minors be given a one-half hour lunch period for every five hours worked.
Employers may not employ minors to perform certain job tasks. Restrictions vary by jurisdiction; however, examples of prohibited tasks include:
- working on scaffolding
- using toxic chemicals or gases
- operating power machinery (except office equipment)