Employment of Minors


For employing minors, the pertinent laws of the state of Indiana and the United States must be followed. Additional regulations are provided to assure compliance and proper employment conditions for Purdue University. The basic provisions of the laws, regulations and procedures and the policy of Purdue University are as follows:

Age Restrictions

Anyone under eighteen (18) years of age is considered a minor (legal age for employment is 14). Minors under 14 years of age are not permitted in gainful occupations except in domestic service and certain agricultural occupations. It shall be the duty of every department employing minors to post and keep posted in a conspicuous place, a printed notice showing the maximum hours minors are permitted to work in a day and in a week, beginning and closing hours, and time allowed for meals; also a notice must be posted with the names and ages respectively, of minor employees. These forms are available from the Indiana Division of Labor, Bureau of Child Labor, Indianapolis, In 46204, or from a superintendent of schools' office.

Employment Certificates

Employment certificates must be obtained for all minors under age 18 except minors who have graduated from high school.

  • Minors must obtain a work permit (Intention to Employ/A-1) from the issuing officer at the school they attend.
  • The employer must complete the form
  • The minor must get his/her parents' signature on the form
  • The minor must present the completed Intention to Employ/A-1 card to the issuing officer, along with proof of age.
  • The employment certificate is completed by the issuing officer, and given to the minor.
  • At the termination of employment, the minor gives the employment certificate and termination notice to the employer
  • The employing department must mail the termination notice to the issuing office.

An employment certificate is not transferable from one job to another or from one department to another. If for some reason the certificate cannot be granted, the employing department will be notified.

Appointing payroll change forms for employees under eighteen (18) years of age must contain under item 18, the statement that "an employment certificate issued by the superintendent of (name of applicable school district) is on file in the employing department's office and no work assignment will be made to this employee that is in violation of State, Federal and University laws and regulations." No employment certificate is required for a minor to perform certain occupations in agriculture, domestic service, or to serve as a newspaper carrier, caddy on a golf course, actor or performer. Child labor laws do not apply to these occupations.

Restricted Hours

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age:
    • may work only 3 hours per school day;
    • may work no more than 18 hours a week when school is in session;
    • may work no more than 8 hours a day when school is not in session;
    • may work no more than 40 hours in one week when school is not in session;
    • cannot start work before 7:00 a.m. or work after 7:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day); and
    • may not work more than 6 days in one week.
  • Minors sixteen (16) years of age:
    • may not start work before 6:00 a.m. or may not work after 10:00 p.m.;
    • may work until 12 midnight, on such nights not followed by school days or during summer when schools are not normally in session, by the written consent of their parent or guardian. Such consent must be on file in the employing department before the minor starts work;
    • school "drop-outs" may start work at 6:00 a.m. but also must have written consent from their parent or guardian to work past 10:00 p.m., but may not work later than 12 midnight; and
    • are restricted to not more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week and not more than 6 days in a week.
    • may work only 9 hours per day during the summer
    • may work 48 hours/week during the summer
  • Minors seventeen (17) years of age:
    • may work up to 8 hours per day and up to 40 hours per week during summer vacation. With parental permission, the minor may work up to 9 hours per day and/or 48 hours per week. There is no restriction on starting or ending time during summer vacation.
    • may work until 11:30 p.m. on nights followed by a school day and with written parental permission, the minor may work unlimited hours but not on consecutive school nights or more than 2 school nights per week. On nights during the school year when there is no school the following day, there are no hour restrictions.
    • may not work before 6:00 a.m.
    • may not work more than 6 days per week
  • Exceptions to hours restrictions: Any minor required to obtain a work permit is not restricted by hours if he/she is a high school graduate, has completed an approved vocational or special education program, or has not enrolled in a regular school term.

Permitted Occupations

Fourteen (14) years of age. (NOTE: to serve as a guide, not conclusive):

  • office and clerical work, including operation of office machines;
  • cashiering, selling, modeling, art work, advertising;
  • assembling order, packing and shelving;
  • bagging and carrying out customer orders;
  • errand delivery work by foot, bicycle, and public transportation
  • cleanup work, including the use of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers; maintenance of grounds, but not the use of power mowers;
  • kitchen work and other work involved in preparing operation of machines and devices used in the performance of such work, such as but not limited to dishwashers, toasters, dumbwaiters, popcorn poppers, milk shake blenders, and coffee grinders, but not slicers, power saws, etc.
  • helpers to mechanics and other skilled craftsman, TV and radio repairmen, etc.;
  • attendants in amusement places; as pin boys in bowling alleys;
  • nurserymen helpers and greenhouse workers; or
  • actors, etc.

Restricted Occupations

Youth under eighteen (18) years of age must not be employed in jobs or with conditions as follows (NOTE: to serve as guide, not conclusive):

  • hazardous work;
  • in or around boiler or engine rooms;
  • occupations of motor-vehicle driver and helper;
  • involved in operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, or shearing machines;
  • involved in the operation of bakery machines;
  • occupations involved in the operation of circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears;
  • roofing and hod carriers;
  • oil and chain moving machinery;
  • in or about any mine, quarry or excavation;
  • operation of any elevator, lift or hoisting machines;
  • in any building construction;
  • work in or about areas where nitroglycerin, dynamite, dualin, guncotton, gunpowder, or other explosives are manufactured, compounded, or stored;
  • work on a job that involves exposure to radioactive substances;
  • engaged in any other occupation dangerous to life or limb or injurious to health or morals;
  • operate any abrasive, polishing or buffing wheel (except that an apprentice may sharpen tools he uses);
  • metal finishing, spray painting; or
  • operation of power driven meat processing machines.

Occupations in Agriculture No one under sixteen (16) years of age may be employed in agriculture during school hours for the school district in which the employed minor is living; nor in any hazardous conditions. No one under fourteen (14) years of age may be employed, even outside of school hours. Twelve and thirteen year olds may be employed in certain agricultural occupations with parental consent. Proof of age is required. Hazardous conditions in agriculture are those which involve the use of power equipment or toxic chemicals that are experimental in nature or that have been altered or modified in any way for experimental purposes, or any power equipment where moving parts are not properly guarded or where guards have been removed. Pool or Billiard Rooms No one under eighteen (18) years of age may work in any pool or billiard room.


Payroll change forms for minors under eighteen (18) years of age for which Employment Certificates are not obtained because of the exceptions in "Occupations In Agriculture" must contain a statement under item 18 on the payroll change form that "an Employment Certificate has not been obtained for this employee because (state reasons) and no work assignment will be made to this employee that is in violation of State, Federal, and University Laws and Regulations."

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | OE Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact web manager at oecomm@purdue.edu.