Skip to main content

Child Labor Law FAQ

1. Who must get a "work permit"?

Work permits or employment certificates must be obtained from your local school for all minors 14 and 15 years of age before beginning work. 820 ILCS 205/9-12.


2. What hours can a minor legally work?

A 14 or 15 year old minor may NOT work:

  • before 7 a.m.
  • after 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1.
  • after 9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day.
  • more than 8 hours when combining school and work hours.
  • more than 24 hours during school weeks.
  • more than 48 hours during non-school weeks.
  • more than six days per week.

For example:

A minor who goes to school from 8am to 3pm (7 hours) may work for 1 hour between the time they get out of school and 7pm.

A minor who gets out of school early and attends school from 8am-1pm (5 hours) may work 3 hours between the time they get out of school and 7pm.

No matter the number of hours spent in school on any given day, the maximum number of hours a minor may work on any school day is 3 hours.

820 ILCS 205/3.


3. What kind of jobs are minors prohibited from performing?

There are 26 prohibited occupations which are considered "hazardous". Minors may not work in connection with these occupations. 820 ILCS 205/7 and 56 Ill. Adm. Code 250.205-250.255.


4. Do minors who are too young to attend school require a "work permit" for modeling/acting/performance work?

Yes. All minors under the age of 16 who are working as models, actors, and in performance work must apply for and receive an employment certificate prior to performing the work. 820 ILCS 205/8 and 8.1 and 56 Ill. Adm. Code 250.305-250.315.

Questions concerning 16 and 17 year old workers need to be directed to the U.S. Department of Labor.