Acceptable Work and Hours for Youth

Acceptable Jobs for Youth
Unacceptable Types of Work and Workplaces for Youth
Work Hours
Breaks and Lunch
Wages

Acceptable Jobs for Youth

All Ages Under 16

Below is a list of acceptable work for all ages under 16 along with whether a work certificate or work permit is needed:

14-15 year olds

Below is a list of acceptable work for 14-15 year olds along with whether a work certificate or work permit is needed:

Unacceptable Types of Work and Workplaces for Youth

All Ages Under 16

Below is a list of unacceptable work and workplaces for all ages under 16:

*IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Door-to-door selling is a consistent problem facing youth in our state. Employment of youth under the age of 16 in any form of door-to-door selling or “street occupation” is prohibited (unless it is on behalf of a school, church, charitable entity (including scouts), or political candidate). If you suspect a child is being subjected to door-to-door sales, please contact the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

Work Hours

Acceptable Work Hours: 14 and 15 Year Olds

 (While School is in Session)

(While School is NOT in Session)

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7 a.m. to 9 p.m.*

No more than 8 hours on non-school days.
No more than 3 hours on school days.

No more than 8 hours on non-school days.
No more than 3 hours on school days.

No more than 6 days a week

No more than 6 days a week (40 hours a week)

*In certain circumstances, 14 and 15 year olds may work until 10:30 p.m. if employed at a regional fair between June 1 and Labor Day.

*HOURS - 14-15 year olds may not work during school hours, unless the youth has been permanently excused from school pursuant to Chapter 167 RSMo.

Breaks and Lunch

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees, including youth workers, a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract.

The entertainment industry, however, DOES require breaks and rest periods for youth workers. A youth cannot work more than five and one-half hours without a meal break. Additionally, a 15-minute rest period (which counts as work time) is required after each two hours of continuous work for youth in the entertainment industry.

Wages

Most employers/businesses* must pay employees, including youth, at least the state minimum wage rate of $7.50. Tipped employees, such as waiters/waitresses, must be paid at least half of the state minimum wage rate or $3.75. However, if the tipped employee does not make up the other half of the minimum wage in tips, the employer is required to pay the difference so that the tipped employee is paid $7.50 per hour. Employers not subject to the minimum wage law can pay employees wages of their choosing. If you have not been paid for work completed file a wage complaint or read more about Owed Wages.
*Employers engaged in retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate.

Additional federal restrictions regarding minimum wage, child labor laws, and youth employment also may apply. To learn more visit the 29 CFR 570.50.