Oregon Child Labor Law

Last update: June 10, 2023

Minimum Hiring Age in Oregon

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

  • Under 18: No child under 18 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in, as or about, or in connection with:
    • Contact with/operating power-driven food slicers, grinders and choppers (includes cleaning, even if unassembled)
    • Motor vehicle driving, including motor vehicle outside helpers, (except under limited circumstances for minors 17 years of age)
    • Operating, repairing and cleaning bakery machines
    • Lumber mill, logging and sawmilling occupations
    • Tasks performed in connection with active forest fires
    • Operating balers, metal strap banders and compactors
    • Operating power-driven hand drills; sanders; woodworkingmachines
    • Excavating and working in trenches over 4’ in depth
    • Roofing and related occupations
    • Operating power-driven hoisting apparatus and lifts
    • Manufacturing, storing and using explosives
    • Operating power-driven metal forming, punching and shearing machines
    • Occupations in connection with power-driven meat processing machinery
    • Meat and poultry slaughtering; packing, processing or rendering
    • Contact with circular, chain, band saws and guillotine shears
    • Operating commercial mixers
    • Using power nail/impact guns, wire stitchers and fasteners
    • All mining occupations
    • Operating power-driven paper products machines
    • Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations
    • Manufacturing brick, tile and kindred products
    • Messenger services between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • Under 16: No child under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in, as or about, or in connection with:
    • Manufacturing/processing occupations
    • Work in locations where power-driven machinery is used
    • Work in workshops or warehouses
    • Work in or on boats or commercial docks
    • Lifeguard/swim occupations except for trained/certified 15 year-olds
    • Work around constructions sites and equipment
    • Using pressure washers
    • Cooking with open flame grill, manual fryer, broiler, or surface or oil more than 100 degrees
    • Using pizza, bakery or convection ovens
    • Work in connection with golf carts
    • Using ladders, scaffolds or substitutes
    • Outside window cleaning above ground
    • Work in grain elevators
    • Work in gravel or sand plants or bunkers
    • Land clearing
    • Lumber loading
    • Washing, loading or unloading trucks (other than personal, non-powered tools/items)
    • Contact with power mowers/cutters/blowers
    • Sign waving, unless in front of business
    • Employment in commercial laundries
    • Welding or soldering work
    • Occupations in connection with mechanical amusements
    • Surveying
    • Wood cutting/sawing
    • Office work only in auto wrecking yards, junk dealer, waterworks, lumbering, motor vehicle (transportation) operations
18 to perform any work that involves selling or handling alcohol

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 Oregon:

Beer Wine Spirits
Serve 18 18 18
Bartend 18 18 18

Work Hours

  • Under 16: Minors under the age of 16 may maximum work:
    • 3 hours on a school day.
    • 18 hours in a school week.
    • 8 hours on a non-school day.
    • 40 hours in a non-school week.
    • Only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Working is not allowed during school hours.
  • Over 16: Minors over the age of 16 may maximum work:
    • 44 hours per week.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for minors ages 14 and 15:
8-40-6 school day/week: 3-18

Students of 14 and 15 enrolled in approved Work Experience and Career Exploration programs may work during school hours up to 3 hours on a school day and 23 hours in a school week

Nightwork prohibited for minors ages 14 and 15:
7 p.m. (9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day) to 7 a.m.

Maximum daily and weekly hours and days per week for ages 16 and 17:
44-hour week (emergency overtime with permit)

Nightwork prohibited for ages 16 and 17:
Not regulated

Work Permit

Minors aged 14–17 are not required to obtain work permits. Instead, employers are required to apply for annual certificates to employ these minors. https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/pages/minor-workers.aspx Age certificate is not provided.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wages in Oregon is $13.50. 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 Oregon