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Ohio Child Labor Laws

ohio child labor laws

Are you about to apply for a part-time job after school or on weekends?

If you are still in high school, getting a part-time job is a good way to make a little cash. This is also a great way to gain valuable skills and work experience that will help you later in life. However, it is important to understand that your education comes first, and you need enough time to study. To help make sure you maintain your grades, there are restrictions on how and when people under eighteen can work.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at the Ohio Child Labor Laws and the restrictions on work within the state.

ohio child labor laws

Minor Working Hour Restrictions In Ohio

Everyone under the age of eighteen who lives in the state of Ohio is covered by the Ohio child labor laws. These laws state the number of hours minors of different ages are permitted to work. The permitted working hours vary depending on whether or not school is in session.

Read more: Texas Child Labor Laws

For minors under sixteen years old

During the school holidays, it is possible to work up to eight hours a day and forty hours a week. During a school week, minors are only allowed to work three hours a day and eighteen hours a week.

For minors aged sixteen and seventeen

There are no restrictions on maximum working hours in the state of Ohio.

Night Work Restrictions for Minors

These restrictions limit how late a minor is permitted to work in Ohio. The restrictions are designed to ensure that minors get enough rest before school.

For minors under sixteen years old

During a school week, work is prohibited between 19:00 and 07:00. During school holidays, minors are permitted to work until 21:00.

For minors aged sixteen and seventeen

During a school week, work is prohibited between 23:00 and 07:00. If school is not in session, it is possible to start work at 06:00.

Employment Certificates In Ohio

Minors under the age of sixteen who want to work part-time in most professions need to apply for an employment certificate.

Also known as a work permit, this document also permits seventeen year olds to work during the school terms. Minors have to get an employment certificate and present it to their employer before starting work.

School comes first every time!

You can get an employment certificate through the guidance counselor or administrator at your school. They will make sure you meet the state requirements, including your school attendance record. You need to fill out the relevant section of the employment certificate and get it signed by a parent or guardian.

Hazardous Jobs

There is a list of hazardous jobs that minors are not permitted to do under any circumstances. This is because these jobs require specialist skills and knowledge. The prohibited hazardous jobs fall into seventeen categories:

  • Roofing
  • Manufacturing or storing explosives
  • Driving a motor vehicle
  • Coal mining
  • Other types of mining
  • Logging or sawmilling
  • Operating power-driven wood-working machines
  • Exposure to radioactive substances
  • Operating power-driven hoisting equipment
  • Operating power-driven shearing, metal-forming, and punching machines
  • Meatpacking or processing
  • Operating power-driven bakery machines
  • Operating power-driven paper-products machines
  • Manufacturing brick, tile, and related products
  • Operating power-driven circular saws and band saws
  • Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations
  • Excavation

Exceptions To The Child Labor Laws

Minors who have already graduated from high school are not covered by the labor laws. Anyone over the age of sixteen who is the head of their household is also exempt. Here are the other main exceptions to the Ohio labor laws.


There are no age restrictions for babysitting in the state of Ohio. This includes light housework such as cleaning and doing the laundry. However, minors are expected to attend school when it is in session and maintain passing grades.

the ohio child labor law


It is usually permitted for minors to work in television, movie, radio, and theatrical productions. However, they need the written consent of a guardian and have to be chaperoned. It is also necessary to apply for a special education license before starting work.

Paper routes

Minors who are employed to deliver newspapers are not covered by child labor laws. It is possible to take on a paper route at any age, as long as you keep up with your schoolwork. However, your employer is likely to ask for written permission from a parent or guardian.

Working for family members

Minors are permitted to work in a family business at any age as long as they are supervised. However, it is important to make sure that hazardous jobs are not undertaken. There are no restrictions on the number of hours or days a minor can work in a family business.

Working on a farm

As long as minors are working alongside a parent or guardian, there is no restriction on farm work. Minors can be employed at any time of the year and at any age. There are no maximum weekly of daily permitted hours for this type of work.

However, if no parent or guardian is present, minors have to be at least sixteen during school hours. Outside of school hours, the minimum working age is fourteen. If the minor has written consent from a parent or guardian, they can work from the age of twelve.

More Info For Working Teens!

So, you want to take on your first job but are not sure how to go about it? Knowing the laws and regulations in any state are extremely important.

So, check out my How To Get A Work Permit In Ohio, and for alternative states, my How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts, my How to Get a Work Permit in California, or how about my How to Get a Work Permit in Arizona, my How to Get a Work Permit in Maryland, and my How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois for the necessary information.

I’ve also put together a selection of articles on teen jobs such as my Can Teens Work at Two Jobs, and Good Jobs for Teens, along with my Best Fast Food Jobs for Teens, and you might want to know How to Become a Teenage Survey Taker, or How to Become a Teenage Sports Referee, and How to Become a Teenage Dog Walker in 2023.

If you have your eye on a specific job position, take a look at Can Teens Work at a Hotel, or perhaps Can Teens Work at Best Buy, or Can Teens Work at a Car Dealership, as well as Can Teens Work at Barnes and Noble, and Can Teens Work at a Hospital, and finally Can Teens Work At Daycare, to see if anything interests you.

Final Thoughts

No matter which state you live in, the federal child labor rules are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers who violate these laws can receive a fine of up to $10,000. Repeated violations are likely to result in jail time.

Before starting work, it is important to receive a contract and study it carefully. The hours you are expected to work, and your hourly rate should be clearly stated. It is a good idea to ask a parent or guardian to review your contract.

Make sure all the details comply with the Child Labor Laws in Ohio.

Good luck and enjoy working your first job!

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