January 11, 2022
Easy Guide to New Hampshire Child Labor Laws & Hiring Minors

Are you considering hiring minors for the next school vacation or busy summer season? While the federal government regulates child labor laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specific New Hampshire child labor laws also exist. Learn the essentials of employing minors and FLSA child labor provisions. 

As a Granite State employer, you should also understand these requirements and restrictions before recruiting employees under the age of 18. The penalty for violating federal child labor laws can be up to $10,000 per violation. An employer who violates NH youth employment laws could be hit with both a misdemeanor AND a civil penalty–which can be up to $2,500 per violation!

It’s simply not worth the risk. So brush up on these regulations and create a safe work environment for your young employees. Read on to learn: 

  • The definition of a minor
  • Required documentation for employing minors in NH
  • Time and hour restrictions
  • Prohibited jobs for minors under 18 years old

New Hampshire Child Labor Laws: The Basics

Any employee under the age of 18 years old is considered a minor. Note that there are different laws for children under 16 and those ages 16 and 17. 

Additionally, children under 12 years old may not work except for their parents, grandparents, or guardians; on a casual work basis (i.e., no more than 3 calendar days for a particular employer); or performing newspaper delivery.

As for wages, New Hampshire follows the federal minimum wage requirements: Employers must pay youths under 20 years of age a minimum wage of $4.25 an hour. After 90 days of employment or when the worker turns 20 (whichever comes first), the employer must pay them the state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Employment Certificates & Parental Permission Forms

Minors between ages 12 and 15 must obtain a Youth Employment Certificate (also known as a Work Permit or Working Papers). The employer must receive this document within three days of the first day of employment and keep it on file.

How it works: 

  1. Complete the Employer’s Request for Child Labor form and give it to the minor.
  2. The youth must take the form to their school or parent to obtain a signed certificate.
  3. They must then provide the certificate to you.

While 16- and 17-year olds do not need to obtain employment certificates, employers must acquire a signed permission form from the child’s parent or legal guardian authorizing employment. You must have this on file when they start work.

Time & Hour Restrictions for Minors

New Hampshire child labor laws also contain time and hour restrictions, which you can calculate based on your business’s workweek.

Minors Under Age 16

When school is in session, children under 16 years old may work:

  • No more than 3 hours on school days (Monday through Friday).
  • No more than 23 hours per school week (any week a youth has school).
  • Not during school hours (Except for minors participating in a Work Experience and Career Exploration Program [WECEP] program).

On non-school days, minors may work:

  • No more than 8 hours per day on non-school days.
  • No more than 48 hours during school vacations.

Those below age 16 are prohibited from working between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Minors Ages 16 & 17

Time restrictions for 16- and 17-year olds are determined by the number of school days and school vacations:

  • When school is in session 3 days or less: No more than 48 hours per workweek
  • When school is in session for 4 days: No more than 40.5 hours per workweek
  • When school is in session for 5 days: No more than 30 hours per workweek
  • During school vacations and summer (June 1 through Labor Day): No more than 48 hours per workweek (some exceptions apply)

Year-round, 16- and 17-year olds may not work more than:

  • 6 consecutive days (some exceptions apply during school and summer vacations). 
  • 10.25 hours per day (some exceptions apply).
  • 2 nights between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. and work more than an 8-hour shift on any day during that same week.

Those not enrolled in school may not work: 

  • More than 10 hours per day and 48 hours per week in manufacturing.
  • More than 10.25 hours per day and 54 hours per week in manual or mechanical labor.
  • No more than 8 hours per shift and 48 hours per week for night work.

Prohibited Jobs for Minors Under 18 Years Old

According to the New Hampshire Department of Labor (DOL), no minors under age 18 may perform the following hazardous work:

  1. Manufacturing and storing explosives
  2. Motor vehicle driving and outside helper
  3. Coal mining
  4. Logging and sawmilling
  5. Power-driven woodworking machines
  6. Exposure to radioactive substances
  7. Power-driven hoisting apparatus
  8. Power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines
  9. Mining, other than coal mining
  10. Slaughtering, or meat packing, processing, or rendering
  11. Power-driven bakery machines
  12. Power-driven paper-products machines
  13. Manufacturing brick, tile, and kindred products
  14. Power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears
  15. Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations
  16. Roofing operations
  17. Excavation operations

Additional restrictions apply to minors under the age of 16. Refer to the DOL’s Child Labor Guide for prohibited occupations by industry.

Young people can make enthusiastic, hardworking team members. Just familiarize yourself with the New Hampshire child labor laws to ensure compliance and a safe work environment. If you have more questions about hiring minors, discuss them with one of our HR consultants today at 603-818-4131 or info@bluelionllc.com

The information on this website, including its newsletters, is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney or HR specialist for advice on your individual situation.