Maine Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in Maine

What is the minimum age to be employed in Maine? The legal age to work in Maine 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.

Age Restrictions

None (17 years of age to work as a server in a restaurant that serves alcohol or as a bartender and handle, transport, and sell beer, wine, and spirits. The presence of a supervisor over the age of 21 is required)

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 Maine:

Beer Wine Spirits
Serve 17 17 17
Bartend 17 17 17

Work Hours

  • 14: No more than 6 days in a row; Cannot work before 7:00 a.m.; Not after 7:00 p.m. during school year; Cannot work after 9:00 p.m. during summer vacation.
    • When School is not in Session: No more than 8 hours in any one day (weekend, holiday, vacation or workshop); Not more than 40 hours in a week (school must be out entire week).
    • When School is in Session: No more than 3 hours on a school day, including Friday; Not more than 18 hours in a week that school is in session one or more days;
  • 16: No more than 6 days in a row; Cannot work before 7:00 a.m. on a school day; Cannot work before 5:00 a.m. on a non-school day; Cannot work after 10:15 p.m. the night before a school day; Can work up to midnight when there is no school the next day.
    • When School is not in Session: No more than 10 hours in any one day (weekend, holiday, vacation, or workshop); No more than 50 hours in a week.
    • When School is in Session: No more than 6 hours on a school day; No more than 10 hours on any holiday, vacation, or workshop day; On last day of school week may work up to 8 hours; No more than 24 hours in a week except may work 50 hours any week that approved school calendar is less than 3 days or during the first and last week of school calendar.
  • 18: Unrestricted

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-40-6 (consecutive) in week when school is not in session;

3-18 (Minors under age 18 enrolled in school may work up to 50 hours during any week that school is in session less than 3 days or during the first or last week of the school calendar, regardless of how many days school is in session for the week) - 6 (consecutive) in week when school is in session.

Maximum hours/days when school is not in session:
- 8 hours daily / 50 hours weekly/ 6 days weekly.
- Workers 16 and up may work up to 50 hours in one week and up to 10 hours a day only between the last day of school and Labor Day.

Maximum hours/days when school is in session:
- 3 hours daily/ 18 hours weekly)

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
7 p.m. (9 p.m. during summer vacation) to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
If enrolled in school:

10-50-6 (consecutive) in week when school is not in session; (Minors under age 18 enrolled in school may work up to 50 hours during any week that school is in session less than 3 days or during the first or last week of the school calendar, regardless of how many days school is in session for the week)

6 (except 8 on last scheduled day of school week)- 24-6 (consecutive) in week when school is in session.

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
If enrolled in school:

10:15 p.m. (12 a.m. before non-school day) to 7 a.m. on day the minor’s school is in session, and to 5 a.m. otherwise.

Work Permit

Minors under 16 years old must obtain a work permit before beginning a job. This includes home-schoolers. https://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/publications/2018/work_permit_072018.pdf Age certificate is not provided.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Maine is $13.80. 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.


Next reading: Find jobs for teens in Maine

Resources