Mississippi Child Labor Law

Minimum Hiring Age in Mississippi

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

  • Minors under the age of 17 are not permitted to operate vehicles used for transportation purposes.
(18: To serve alcoholic beverages in Restaurants; 21: To work as a bartender or to handle alcohol in a liquor store.)

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 Mississippi:

Beer Wine Spirits
Serve 18 18 18
Bartend 21 21 21

Work Hours

  • 14: Only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • 16: Prohibited from working more than 8 hours in a day and 44 hours in a week.
  • Marriage: Child labor laws in the State of Mississippi do not apply to minor workers who are married before they reach the age of 18.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-44 in factory, mill, cannery or workshop.

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in factory, mill, cannery or workshop.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Work Permit

Minors under 16 in mills, canneries, workshops, factories are required to obtain Employment Certificate through their school, generally by contacting a guidance counselor or school administrator. Age certificate is not issued.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Mississippi is $7.25. Mississippi has no state minimum wage law. Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the current Federal minimum wage. 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.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_working_age
  • https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/apis-policy-topics/minimum-ages-for-on-premises-servers-and-bartenders/38
  • https://www.dol.gov/age-certificates