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How Many Hours Can a Minor Work in Illinois?

Dec. 8, 2023

There was a time when children could be employed without restrictions in Illinois and across the country, but that has not been the case for decades. There are several important child labor laws in Illinois to be aware of, outlined below. If you have questions about Illinois child labor laws, speak to one of our knowledgeable Chicago employment law attorneys at Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates.

What Are Child Labor Age Restrictions In Illinois?

One of the most critical labor laws in Illinois is regarding work age restrictions. Children under 16 cannot work in mechanical or manufacturing operations and processes. They also are not allowed to work in building work or on scaffolding. Those who are under 16 also may not use a motor vehicle or do work in a mine or quarry.

Furthermore, those under 16 cannot work hazardous jobs that can affect their morals or health. They also cannot be employed in gas stations, on railroads, or in many manufacturing and construction jobs. They also are not allowed to handle or serve alcohol or do work in bowling alleys or amusement parks.

However, children under 16 can bus tables and assist in the kitchen to serve food at private clubs and fraternal organizations. If you need clarification on whether a job is legal for someone under 16 to perform, speak to Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates.

What Times And Hours Can Children Work In Illinois?

There also are laws in Illinois detailing the hours and times of day minors can work. First, those under 16 may work up to eight hours a day, and they also can work six straight days per week. They are also permitted to work up to 48 hours a week.

However, children under 16 can work up to three hours daily when they have school. They can also work up to 24 hours a week when they have school. Minors can work on Saturdays and Sundays up to eight hours per day if they are not working outside of school over six days per week and if their work is at most 24 hours a week.

Illinois law also limits minors working at night and how long they may work between their breaks. However, minors are allowed to work some additional hours on their summer breaks.

Employment Documents Are Required For Minors

The state also mandates that all minors under 16 have an employment document valid for up to a year. This employment certificate is issued by the district superintendent where the child goes to school. The child must apply for the employment certificate, and a parent or guardian must accompany them. The employment must provide a statement of intention about the kind of work, hours, and days per week the minor will work. The employer must keep the employment document as long as the minor is employed there.

Speak To Our Chicago Employment Law Attorney Today

Minors can work in Illinois, but there are many rules and restrictions under the Illinois Child Labor Law (820 ILCS 205/1). If you have questions, speak to our Chicago employment law attorneys today by calling us. Our attorneys can apprise you of your rights and obligations under Illinois child labor laws. Attorney Michael Smith has more than 30 years of legal experience and can address any Illinois employment law questions you have.