A Guide for Wage and Hour Laws for Minors

The laws, provisions and standards regarding minimum wage, overtime pay and other issues in the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to minors just like any other workers. But just like young workers are protected, employers are protected as well. Minors may not be held to the same standards as adult employees, but they also aren’t entitled to the same minimum wage compensation as adults. There are different age groupings to define a minor, so attorneys in NYC can help sort out any issues when it comes to wage and hour laws for minors.

Types of Work Available to Minors

Minors are typically entitled to only work certain jobs, depending on their age. Some examples include:

  • For minors under the age of 14:
    • Babysitting jobs
    • Newspaper delivery
    • Actors or actresses
    • Homeworkers
    • Working for a business owned by their parents
  • For minors in the age 14-15 range:
    • Office jobs
    • Certain cooking jobs
    • Bagging groceries, clerical duties and other similar activities
    • Creative jobs as a musician, artist or performer
    • Swimming instructors or lifeguards if properly certified

There are also time restrictions on how many hours a minor can work any given job, which a New York attorney can help you sort out. Once a minor turns age 16 and 17, the restrictions are much less. By the time a minor turns 18, there are no laws in place regarding the type of job or the amount of hours worked.

Minimum Wage for Minors

In most states, the minimum wage for minors is less than the minimum wage for adults. Check with employment lawyers in NYC to determine whether there are any exceptions, but most states have a minimum wage rate of about $4.25/hour for minors. However, there may be a limited period in which this youth minimum wage rate applies. Once the minor turns age 20, the youth minimum wage is immediately invalid and the employer must pay the employee the regular minimum wage rate.


Some exemptions to wage and hour laws for minors include the minor working for a business owned by their parents. As long as the minor is not put in a position declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor, then child labor rules may not apply in certain instances. To be sure you’re operating under the laws, speaking with New York attorney may be the best thing to do.

Gordon & Gordon has a team of experienced attorneys in NYC to help you with any wage and hour case, including for minors. Whether you have a concern regarding wage and hour laws for minors, or if you believe you have a strong case to present to use, contact us today to set up a free evaluation to learn more.