Do You Know... you
have workplace rights and responsibilities as an agricultural employee? There are
Child Labor Laws and state laws to help protect you at work. These laws tell
you what hours you can work and at what jobs you can work if you are less than 16
Teen agricultural employees rights may include:
Teen worker - responsibilities:
- Training about health and safety, including information about pesticides and other chemicals that could be harmful to your health.
- Paying you at least the
minimum wage for your work.
Some exemptions may apply.
- Working only the
limited hours and at the
types of work permitted by state and federal laws.
Federal child labor laws apply to agricultural work if you are under 16 years old.
- Paying you for medical care (workers' compensation) if you get injured or sick because of your job.
- Access to handwashing facilities, toilets, and potable
drinking water must be provided by employers of 11 or more field workers. [29 CFR 1928.110]
- Follow all child labor laws that apply to you.
- Follow all safety rules and instructions.
- Use any provided safety equipment and protective clothing.
- Wash your hands before eating or drinking in the fields.
- Never drink irrigation water.
- Know what to do in case of an emergency.
- Report any health and safety hazards to your supervisor.
What are child labor laws?
Federal child labor laws are established by the
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA
child labor provisions are designed to protect youth at work and prohibit
your employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to your health
Child labor laws
apply to young workers in agriculture. Hour and job restrictions depend upon your age and
the job you are doing. The rules are the same for all youth, including migrant
employment hour restrictions include:
Can I work in any agricultural job?
- A youth 14- or 15-years-old can work in agriculture, on any farm,
but only during hours when school is not
in session and only in non-hazardous jobs.
- A youth 12 or 13 years of age, can work in agriculture on a farm
only if a parent has given written permission or is working on the same
farm. Again, the work can be performed only during hours when school is
not in session and in non-hazardous jobs.
- Youth younger than 12 can work in agriculture on a farm only if the
farm is not required to pay the Federal minimum wage.
- A youth that is 16 years old or older, can work on any farm,
including during hours when school is in session, on any day, for
any number of hours, and in any job.
- Some exemptions
exist. For example, youths of any age may work at any time in any job on a farm owned or operated by their
parents, or someone standing in place of their parent.
- State Child Labor Laws for
agriculture may differ from state to state.
No, the Secretary of Labor has found that the following agricultural occupations are
too hazardous for youths under 16 years of age. No youth under 16 years of age may be employed at any time in any of these
hazardous occupations in agriculture (HO/A) unless
they are specifically
For additional information see 29 CFR 570.71,
Occupations Involved in Agriculture [141 KB PDF, 2 pages].
US Department of Labor fact sheets and guides on agriculture:
- For Teens in Agriculture- The Basic about young agricultural workers health and safety. YoungWorkers.org,
California Resource Network for Young Workers' Health and
Safety, (2009, April). Provides basic health and safety
information for young California agricultural workers.
- Child Labor Rules Advisor.
US Department of Labor (DOL) elaws.
- State Labor
Laws Applicable to Agricultural Employment. US Department of Labor (DOL) State Labor Laws.
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.