Louisiana Small Business Association
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Requirements for Hiring Minors Under 18

If you have teenagers under the age of 18 working at your business this summer (or any time of the year), you need to be aware of the state and federal laws regulating the types of jobs they can and cannot do, their minimum pay rate, their required work breaks and the number of hours they can work. With very few exceptions, a teenager must be at least 14 years old to work in Louisiana.

Employment Certificate

Before an employee under the age of 18 begins working, you need to both fill out the “Application to Employ Minors Under Age 18” form.­ This form is published by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).­ After you have completed and signed the “Employer Information” section, give the form to the minor, who needs to fill out the “Applicant Information” section and have a parent sign the form giving their consent.­ Then, the minor needs to take the completed form to an authorized issuing location to obtain an Employment Certificate.

Employment Certificates are issued by:

  • The parish or city public school superintendent or their designated representative.
  • The principal of a public or private school or his or her designated representative.
  • A parent or legal guardian if the student is a home study program participant.

After the minor is issued an Employment Certificate, he or she needs to bring you the certificate so that you can keep it on file as long as the minor is working at your business.

>>Click here to download the LWC's­ “Application to Employ Minors Under Age 18” form.<<

Minimum Wage

  • Employees under the age of 20 may be paid a youth minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment as long as their work does not displace other employees.
  • After 90 consecutive days of employment, or when the employee reaches age 20 (whichever comes first), the employee must receive at least the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.
  • Any employee not being paid a youth minimum wage for the first 90 days of employment must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Work Hours

  • During the summer, employees who are 14 and 15 can work 8 hours a day and up to 6 consecutive days a week.
  • From June 1st to Labor Day, employees who are 14 and 15 can work starting at 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • Employees who are 16 and 17 have no restrictions on the number of hours they may work during the summer. (Please keep in mind that these employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in any given week.)
  • Employees who are ages 16 or 17 have no restrictions on the time of day they may work during the summer.

Breaks/Meal Periods

  • Employees under the age of 18 must be given an uninterrupted break of at least 20 to 30 minutes for every 5 hours of work time.
  • The employee may not work more than 5 hours before receiving his or her break.
  • Breaks cannot be divided into two separate breaks of 15 minutes each.

Driving Restrictions

Employees who are 16 or younger are not allowed to drive as part of their job, even if they possess a valid state driver’s license.­ Employees who are at least 17 years old may drive cars and small trucks as part of their jobs only in these limited circumstances:

  • The driving is limited to daylight hours.
  • The employee holds a valid driver’s license and has no record of moving violations at the time of hire.
  • The employee has successfully completed a state-approved driver education course.
  • The employee uses a seat belt.
  • The vehicle weight does not exceed 6,000 pounds.
  • The driving must be occasional and incidental to the 17-year-old’s job. He or she cannot spend more than 1/3 of their workday driving and no more than 20 percent of the minor's work time in any work week.

Prohibited Employment

Employees under the age of 18 are not allowed to work in the following areas:

  • As a driver of any motor vehicle on a public road if they are 16 years of age or younger;
  • Any place that sells alcoholic beverages as its main business, unless the minor is a musician performing in a band on the premises;
  • Oiling, cleaning, or wiping machinery or shafting, or in applying belts to pulleys;
  • Mines or quarries;
  • Places where stone cutting or polishing is done;
  • Plants manufacturing explosives or articles containing explosives;
  • Iron or steel manufacturing plants.
  • In or around sawmills;
  • Operating power-driven woodworking machines;
  • Logging operations;
  • In spray painting or in occupations involving exposure to lead compounds.

Child Labor Poster

Louisiana employers are required to post the Louisiana Minor Labor Law Placard at their place of business, which is included on the All-in-One labor law poster that you should have already received when you joined LSBA or renewed your membership.­ If you have any questions about the child labor laws or poster, please call the LSBA offices at 844-242-LSBA (5722) and ask for Erin or Lance.

Published: 05/11/2017

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