Child labor laws exist at both state and federal levels, with a focus on ensuring that minors can prioritize education overworking and that minors do not become exploited for labor.
The laws generally include restrictions on the various types of work duties minors can perform, the number of hours they can work in a given day and week, and further restrictions on working late in the day or overnight. While Idaho does impose some of these restrictions on minors working, it does not require minors to get a work permit or employment certificate.
Federal child labor laws state that the minimum age to work is 14 (with some exceptions). Each state passes its own laws, however, so the minimum age may vary. In Idaho, 14-year-olds may work and they do not need a special age certificate.
Limitations for Younger Workers in Idaho
Most jobs available for teens in Idaho go to youngsters age 16 and over. For those between the ages of 14 and 16, special rules do apply. The following lists some important facts to know:
- Even though the minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25, according to Idaho Law, "New employees under 20 years of age may be paid $4.25 per hour during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer."
- In some cases, a special certificate must be obtained from Idaho's Department of Labor if planning to pay an employee under age 16 at a sub-minimum wage level, for jobs such as an apprenticeship.
- Minimum wage does not apply to "seasonal employees of a nonprofit camping program; or to any child under the age of 16 years working part-time or at odd jobs not exceeding four hours per day with anyone employer; or any individual employed in agriculture if such employee is a member of his employer’s immediate family."
- Certain types of agricultural and non-agricultural jobs are considered to be "too hazardous" for teens under the age of 16.
Hours of Work
According to Idaho's state labor laws, Individuals aged 14 to 17 may work 9 hours per day, and up to 54 hours per week, as long as they do not work during the hours when school is in session. For businesses covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the labor laws are applied to minors based on guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Labor. This permits a maximum of three hours of work on school days, eight hours on non-school days, 18 hours per week during school and 40 hours per non-school week for 14- to 15-year olds. All work must be performed between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. FLSA does not impose any restrictions on workers 16 and older.
What Does Idaho Offer to Young Workers?
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act means that Idaho offers a wide range of services to teens age 14 and over. Teens who have particular challenges such as disabilities or financial need can get help in accessing these services. Here are just a few of the options available to young people, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Paid and unpaid work experiences are available that have as a component of academic and occupational education, which may include:
- Summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year
- Pre-apprenticeship programs
- Internships and job shadowing
- On-the-job training opportunities
Occupational skill training positions may include priority consideration for training programs that lead to recognized postsecondary credentials. These credentials are aligned with in-demand industry sectors or occupations in the local area.
Some programs have education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation.
In addition, teens can turn to the Department of Labor for help with accessing skills training, help in earning a GED, and much more.