Michigan Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in Michigan

What is the minimum age to be employed in Michigan? The legal age to work in Michigan is 11, 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

Minors may not work:

  • Contact with hazardous substances, chemicals, explosives, or radioactive substances.
  • Driving and working as an outside helper (pizza delivery etc.)
  • Jobs in the logging and sawmill industry.
  • Jobs using woodworking machinery.
  • Brazing, welding, soldering or heat treating for those less than 16 years of age.
  • Work on construction sites, excavation sites, bridges, streets or highways.
  • Slaughtering, butchering, cutting meat or using meat slicers, cleavers or boning knives.
  • Occupations involving power driven equipment, tools, saws or machinery (bakery machines, paper product machines, and metal-forming, punching and shearing machines).
(A licensee shall not allow any person who is less than 18 years of age to sell or serve alcoholic liquor.)Special requirements:
  • 11: 11-year-olds and those older may work as golf caddies, athletic event referees and bridge caddies, under specific conditions.
  • 13: 13-year-olds and those older may work as corn detasselers and at trap shooting events.

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 Michigan:

BeerWineSpirits
Serve181818
Bartend181818

Work Hours

  • A minor may not work more than six days per week.
  • Minors are limited to working no more than 10 hours in a day, with a weekly average of 8 hours per day.
  • Combined hours of school and work cannot exceed 48 hours in a work week.
  • Special hours apply to workers in agricultural processing. An information sheet is available from the Wage & Hour Division.
  • 14: 14- and 15-year-olds may not work:
    • After 9:00 p.m. or before 7:00 a.m. 14- and 15-year-olds may not work during school hours.
  • 16: 16- and 17-year-olds may not work:
    • Before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
    • Before 6:00 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, during school vacation periods, and during periods when a minor is not regularly enrolled in school.
  • Approval may be granted for 16- and 17-year-olds to work beyond the starting and ending times specified in the Youth Employment Standards Act. Approvals may be obtained from the Wage & Hour Division

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
10 hours per day
48 hours school/work combined
6 days per week
8 hours per day weekly average
Not during school hours
Not before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
30 minute break before working more than 5 hours

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
10 hours per day
24 hours in a school week and 48 hours in a non-school week
6 days per week
8 hours per day weekly average
Not during school hours
Not before 6:00 a.m.
Not after 10:30 p.m. Sunday - Thursday when school is in session
Not after 11:30 p.m. on Friday-Saturday when school is in session or 7 days when school is not in session
30 minute break before working more than 5 hours

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
10:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and during school vacations) to 6 a.m., if attending school.

11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., if not attending school.

Work Permit

CA-6 Work permit is required for minor under 16 years of age. CA-7 Work permit is required for minor 16 to 17 years of age. https://www.michigan.gov/leo/initiatives/youth-employment Age certification is required for minors under age 18 as part of Employment Certificate

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Michigan is $10.10. 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 Michigan

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