Last update: June 10, 2023
Minimum Hiring Age in Connecticut
What is the minimum age to be employed in Connecticut? The legal age to work in Connecticut is 14, but governed by state and federal child labor laws and varies based on:
- The type of work (e.g., agricultural or non-agricultural)
- Whether the job is considered hazardous or has prohibited duties.
- Whether school is in session.
- The legal status of the minor (e.g., emancipated minors).
- Whether the job is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
According to Federal Law (FLSA), a minor must be at least 14 years old to work for an employer (e.g. retail stores, food service establishments and gasoline service stations), with an exception for minors working for a parent or legal guardian who owns the business. This is the reason why you will never see job postings for children under the age of 14.
- 14: Minimum age to work (in/as): Agriculture; Street trades (newspaper delivery, shoe shining, baby-sitting, etc.); Hospitals (no food service or laundry); Convalescent homes (no food service or laundry); Hotels and motels (no food service or laundry); Banks; Insurance companies; Professional offices (lawyers, CPAs, etc.); Municipalities (library attendants, recreation departments, etc.); Golf caddies; Acting; Household chores for private homeowners (yard work, etc.); Licensed summer camps; Mercantile/solicitation;
- 15: Minimum age to work (in/as): Mercantile establishment as a bagger, cashier, or stock clerk (this also includes the sale of alcohol in grocery stores)
- 16: Unrestricted
- 18: Minimum age to: Sell, or serve alcoholic beverages. Sell tobacco products.
Minimum age to drive motor vehicles (cars and small trucks) on public roads as part of jobs is basically 17 years old, with certain requirements.
Minimum age to serve and bartend alcohol in Connecticut:
- 14: May not be employed: During school hours; Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except from July 1 to Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.; More than 3 hours per day on school days or 8 hours on non-school days; More than 18 hours a week in school weeks or 40 hours in non-school weeks.
- 16: Depending on industry.
- 18: Unrestricted
Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-40-6 in mercantile during periods of school vacation of 5 days or more
Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
7 p.m. (9 p.m. July 1 to the first Monday in September) to 7 a.m.
Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
Enrolled in and not graduated from a secondary institution:
8-48-6, non-school weeks. school day/week: 6 (8 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) - 32 in restaurant, recreational, amusement, theater, manufacturing, mechanical, retail, hairdressing, bowling alley, pool hall, or photography gallery establishments.
Not enrolled in and not graduated from a secondary institution:
8-48-6 in retail/mercantile establishments.
9-48-6 in restaurant, manufacturing, mechanical, recreation, amusement and theater establishments
Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
- 11 p.m. (midnight if school vacation, not prior to a school day, or not attending school) to 6 a.m. in restaurants, recreational, amusement and theater establishments.
- 10 p.m. (11 p.m. if school vacation, not prior to a school day, or not attending school; midnight in a supermarket of 3,500 square feet or more when no school the next day) to 6 a.m. in manufacturing, mechanical and retail establishments.
- 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in hairdressing, bowling alley, pool hall, or photography gallery establishments.
Work PermitWorking papers are obtained at your public high school. You MUST have working papers before you start work. Age certificate is not issued.
The minimum wages in Connecticut is $14.00. FLSA allow employers to pay a youth minimum wage of not less than $4.25 an hour to employees who are under 20 years of age during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after initial employment.