Youth Employment Regulations

Who is required to obtain a Youth Employment Certificate?

A Youth Employment Certificate must be obtained before any youth under 18 years of age is employed UNLESS there is an exemption from the youth employment requirements of the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act. Exemptions include:

* Youths employed by the Federal government
* Youths employed in agriculture
* Youths employed as domestic workers (baby-sitters and companions)
* News delivery
* Volunteers

Partial exemptions:
Students who are employed by parents who are the sole proprietor of a business are exempt from the age provisions of the North Carolina Youth Employment Laws but must still obtain a permit.

Work Restrictions at Businesses With an ABC On-Premises License
Youth under age 18 may not prepare, dispense, serve, or sell alcoholic beverages for any reason even if employed by their parents. Youth 16-17 may be employed in the premises to perform other duties including waitperson and cashier as long as youth is not serving, taking orders or ringing up on-premisies alcoholic beverages. Youth under age 16 may not work in the premises for any reason. A limited exception exists for youth under age 16 who are employed by their parents to work in the premises to perform other duties. Youth 14-15 may work on the outside grounds to perfom other duties with parent/guardian written permission (permit signature is acceptable).

Hours/Time Restrictions for 14 and 15 Year Olds
Youths 14 and 15 years old may not be employed: (1) during school hours (except provided for in Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs); (2) before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. except 9 p.m. during the summer when school is not in session; (3) more than 3 hours per day on school days; (4) more than 18 hours per week during the school week; (5) more than 8 hours per day on non school days; (6) more than 40 hours per week during non school hours.

Permitted/Prohibited Occupations for 14 and 15 Year Olds
In addition to the restrictions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act and Regulations further restrict occupations for youths under the age of 16. Generally 14 and 15 years are permitted to work in offices, retail establishments, food service, and gasoline service establishments.

Hours/Time Restrictions for 16 and 17 Year Olds
During the regular school term, no youth under 18 years of age who is enrolled in grade 12 or lower may be employed between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when there is school for the youth the next day,. Exceptions: (1) This restriction does not apply to youths who have written permission from the youth's guardian and the youth's principal, or (2) This restriction does not apply to youths who have dropped out of school and are enrolled in a GED program.

Information taken from, "A Guide to Youth Employment Laws and Regulations for Issuing Youth Employment Certificates," February 2000, North Carolina Department of Labor.