Date:May 15, 2008
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

La. Teens Begin Search for Summer Employment
Minor labor laws must still be followed

BATON ROUGE — The school year is winding down and many teens are turning their attention to finding a summer job. The Louisiana Department of Labor wants to remind these students and those who employ them that minor labor laws are still in effect during the summer months.

“We have continued to see a large number of teens in the workforce since Hurricane Katrina,” said Labor Programs Director Lonnie Rogers. “It is important that they are aware of the laws applying to their employment, even when school isn’t in session.”

Around 67,000 minor employment certificates were issued last year, with nearly 44 percent of those being issued during the summer months.

Jobseekers and employers are reminded that these certificates, which can be obtained during the summer from school board offices, are required year round and must be on file with an employer before the minor can start work.

“As an employer with a large number of teenage workers, we are fully aware of the need for minor labor laws that protect this valuable segment of our workforce,” said John Valluzzo, owner/operator of 52 Greater Baton Rouge-area McDonald’s restaurants. “In many instances, this is the first job for these young workers. Employees are educated on the laws at our orientation. Compliance with the law ensures that our employees gain valuable job experience and have a positive experience on the job.”

On nights prior to a day when school is not in session, such as the summer vacation period, the state allows young employees to work later than they could on school nights. Fourteen and 15 year olds can work as late as 9 p.m. Sixteen and 17 year olds have no restrictions on how late they can work if there is no school the next day. However, employers are reminded that all minors must have an 8-hour rest period between work days. Except under certain circumstances, minors under 14 years of age are prohibited from employment.

State law prohibits workers under the age of 18 from working in certain types of occupations and performing hazardous duties, such as operating certain types of power-driven machinery, welding, roofing and performing demolition or wrecking work. Minors are also prohibited from working as delivery drivers. A complete list of hazardous duties and specific exceptions to these rules can be obtained online at

Violations of the state’s minor labor laws carry criminal and civil penalties for each offense. Through its Labor Programs Division, the agency offers seminars for business managers on the state’s minor labor laws. There is no charge for the presentations, which last about an hour and can be conducted at the place of business.

For more information about minor labor laws, log onto the Louisiana Department of Labor Web site,, and visit the “Louisiana Youth Works” portal. Managers interested in scheduling a minor labor laws seminar should contact Lonnie Rogers at 225-342-7690 to set up an appointment.

Louisiana Minor Labor Laws Fact Sheet

• Except under certain circumstances, minors under the age of 14 are prohibited from employment.

• 14 – 17 year olds must obtain an employment certificate from their school or school board office and have it on file with their employer before starting work. This requirement is in place year round.

• 14 – 17 year olds must be granted an uninterrupted break of at least 30 minutes for each and every 5-hour work period.

• 14 and 15 year olds can work no more than three hours on a school day (8 hours on a non-school day) and no more than 18 hours during a school week (40 hours during a non-school week).

• 14 and 15 year olds can work as late as 9 p.m. when school is not in session or 7 p.m. prior to a school day.

• 16 and 17 year olds have no restrictions on how late they can work when there’s no school the next day.

• Prior to a school day, 16 year olds can work until 11 p.m.; 17 year olds until midnight.

• All minors must have an 8-hour rest period between work days.

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