Employing Minors in Ohio — What You Need to Know

In Employment Law by Coolidge Wall

There was a time when child labor was a major problem in the United States. While that era has largely passed, employers who hire children under the age of 18 are still subject to a number of restrictions. It can be easy for businesses that only periodically employ minors to overlook these statutory requirements, leading to trouble down the road. Ultimately, Ohio’s minor employment laws are not overly burdensome so long as employers are aware that the laws exist and learn about their responsibilities.

The Ohio Minor Labor Law considers any person under the age of 18 who has not graduated from high school to be a minor. Employers must display a list of each minor employee and must ensure that any minor employee over the age of 14 has obtained a work permit from the Ohio Board of Education. Minors 16 or older, however, do not need a work permit for summer employment, so long as the employer obtains a signed consent from the employee’s parent or guardian.

Employers must provide minors with a written wage agreement and cannot change their wages without at least 24 hours’ notice. Employers also may not withhold wages from minor employees for breakage, rule violations, or on-the-job negligence. Minors who work more than five consecutive hours must receive at least a 30-minute break.

Other rules include the following:

  • Minors 17 years of age or less may not work during hours that would interfere with school attendance.
  • Minors under the age of 16 cannot work between the hours of 9 P.M. and 7 A.M. and cannot work more than 8 hours in a given day or 40 hours in a week.
  • When school is in session, minors under age 16 cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day or 18 hours in a week.

If you are concerned about how minor employment laws could affect your business, our employment attorneys can help.