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Questions and Answers

What are the laws governing youth in the workplace?

Cutting the lawn Holding tomatoes Waiting at a restaurant

Please visit the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of Labor - Occupational Safety and Health Administration websites to review all laws governing youth in the workplace.

If you are under 18, there are specific rules on the wages you may be paid, the occupations and industries in which you are allowed to work, and the hours you may work. All states also have child labor standards. When federal and state standards are different, the rules that provide the most protection to young workers apply.

Generally, in non-agricultural work, the permissible jobs, by age, are as follows:

  1. Workers 18 years or older may perform any job, whether hazardous or not;
  2. Workers 16 and 17 years old may perform any non-hazardous jobs; and
  3. Workers 14 and 15 years old may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs.

Fourteen (14) is the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or on hazardous jobs); perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home. Also, at any age, youth may be employed as home workers to gather evergreens and make evergreen wreaths.

Different age requirements apply to the employment of youth in agriculture.

For additional questions and answers about youth employment click here.

If I am under 18, do I need a work permit or my parent’s permission to work?

Work permits are not required in the State of Arizona. Permission from the youths’ parents is not a requirement nor does it allow youths to work in violation of Arizona's Youth Employment Laws. Visit the Industrial Commission of Arizona website.

What Hours Can I Work?
Find your answer at Youth Rules! (by the U. S. Department of Labor)

What Jobs Can I Do?
Find your answer at Youth Rules! (by the U. S. Department of Labor)

What are the specific rules on minimum wages?

Visit the U.S. Department of Labor for answers on minimum wages.

Are there specific laws that apply to youth in Arizona?

Yes, please see Occupational restrictions in Arizona for minors under 17 and find out about exemptions in youth employment in Arizona.

I have a police record. Will anyone hire me now?

Yes, someone will hire you, depending on the type of offense you have and the type of job you are considering. A police record does not automatically disqualify you from employment.

Police officer arresting man
  • An employer is not allowed to ask about arrests, other than pending charges.
  • An employer may ask whether an applicant has any pending charges or convictions, as long as the employer makes it clear that these will only be given consideration if the offenses are substantially related to the particular job. An employer cannot legally make a rule that persons with conviction records will not be employed. Each job and record must be considered individually.
  • Generally, you do not have to disclose if you were arrested on an application or during an interview, only convictions.
  • You must be honest on the application if it asks you if you were ever convicted; but you may get the opportunity to explain during the interview.
  • Please consider the type of work that you will be applying for in relation to the conviction you received (i.e., if it is a grand larceny charge, you may reconsider applying for employment at a car dealership; if it is a drug charge, you may want to reconsider applying for healthcare jobs, etc.).