Child Labor Law Requirements in Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, many of the Child Labor Law requirements are very similar to those of the federal government, In my research I have found that some additional restrictions are placed on minors under 18 in the state of Kentucky.

First, I think it is important to note that Kentucky is not a state that requires any sort of work permit for minors under the age of 18.  Employers must, however, maintain in their records proof of age for all minor employees.

Like many states, the regulations governing the work hours of 14 and 15 year old employees are very similar to those of federal law.  During times school is in session, minors of this age may not work during school hours.  They are allowed to work up to three hours per day on school days, but this work must be between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The total hours per week must be 18 or fewer.  During the summer months (defined as June 1st through Labor Day), a 14 or 15 year old minor may work between 7am and 9pm.  However, a minor of this age may still work no more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day during the summer months.

The Child Labor Law of Kentucky does place additional restrictions on the employment of 16 and 17 year olds above what is found in federal law.  A 16 or 17 year old must work no more than 6 hours per day on a school day, or 8 hours per day on a non-school day during the school year.  The total hours worked in a week during the school year for a 16 or 17 year old must not exceed 30, unless he or she has gained a special exemption from both a parent and his or her school.  If a minor has gained this exemption, he or she may work up to 40 hours per week during the school year.  There are no restrictions on the number of hours per day or per week a 16 or 17 year old may work during the summer.  Additionally, a minor of this age may not work later than 10:30pm on a school night, or 1:30am on a non-school night.

In closing, I will note that Kentucky’s laws regarding the types of jobs that minors are able to hold are similar federal laws.  No minors under the age of 18 may work in dangerous occupations such as coal mining or logging.  Additionally, minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from jobs operating many types of machinery, or working in any manufacturing settings.

The Kentucky Complete Labor Law poster reflects the most current child labor law information along with all the federal laws.

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