Youth Employment

The Department enforces state laws pertaining to youth employment, which establish a minimum age of 14 to be employed in North Dakota, and place certain limitations on the employment of teens ages 14 and 15.

These limitations include:

  1. Teens ages 14 and 15 must file an Employment and Age Certificate with the Department of Labor and Human Rights. Instructions are provided within this form, including that it must be completed at the start of each employment relationship entered into, and the original copy of the completed form (which requires information from the teen, the parent, and the employer) must be sent to the Department, and is not valid until receipt by the Department.
  2. Teens ages 14 and 15 may only work between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM from Labor Day through May 31 and between the hours of 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM from June 1 through Labor Day. In addition, 14 and 15 year-old workers are limited to a maximum of 3 hours of work on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day; and 18 hours in a school week and 40 hours in a non-school week. A school week is considered any week, Sunday through Saturday, in which school attendance is required for any part of four or more days.
  3. Teens ages 14 and 15 are not permitted to perform certain types of work. Some examples of prohibited employment are employment involving the use of power driven machinery, construction work, work involving the use of chemicals, door-to-door sales, driving, and cooking. Lawn-mowing is not prohibited for persons ages 14 and 15 under state law but is prohibited by federal law, except in domestic employment.

There are no restrictions on employment for persons age 16 and over under North Dakota youth employment laws. However, federal child labor laws prohibit certain types of employment for anyone under 18 years of age. Types of employment prohibited under these rules include roofing, most driving, and most work involving power-driven machines.

Under certain circumstances, teens ages 14 and 15 may be exempt from some or all youth employment rules:

  1. The teen works under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian and if that person is 100 percent owner of the business;
  2. The teen works in domestic service (performing services of a household nature in or about the employer's private home);
  3. The teen works in agricultural employment; or
  4. The teen is exempt from compulsory school attendance because s/he has completed the requirements for graduation, because s/he is needed to help financially support her/his family, or because s/he cannot be taught in a mainstream classroom due to a disability.

Babysitting in domestic service does not constitute employment unless it involves 20 or more hours of work for 3 or more consecutive weeks.

Click here for a printable, tri-fold brochure.

Click here to visit the U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet on youth employment.