Fact Sheet #40: Overview of Youth Employment (Child Labor) Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for Agricultural Occupations


September 20, 2020

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) as amended, sets standards for youth employment in agriculture. These standards differ from those for nonfarm jobs.

To Which Agricultural Workers does the FLSA Apply?

The FLSA covers employees whose work involves production of agricultural goods which will leave the state directly or indirectly and become a part of interstate commerce.

What are the Minimum Age Standards for Agricultural Employment?

Youths ages 16 and above may work in any farm job at any time.

Youths aged 14 and 15 may work outside school hours in jobs not declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Youths 12 and 13 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs on farms that also employ their parent(s) or with written parental consent.

Youths under 12 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs with parental consent, but only on farms where none of the employees are subject to the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA.

Local youths 10 and 11 may hand harvest short-season crops outside school hours for no more than 8 weeks between June 1 and October 15 if their employers have obtained special waivers from the Secretary of Labor.

Youths of any age may work at any time in any job on a farm owned or operated by their parents. 


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