Virginia Child Labor Laws

Generally, Virginia employers may employ minors in nonhazardous occupations if certain hours restrictions are complied with and, if required, an employment certificate is obtained.

Prohibited employment

Generally, no child under 14 years of age may be employed in any gainful occupation.
No child under 16 years of age may be employed during school hours, unless the child has reached the age of 14, is enrolled in a regular work-training program, and a work-training certificate has been issued for the child's employment. No child under 18 years of age may be employed in a hazardous occupation. This includes working as a driver or helper on a truck or commercial vehicle of more than two axles. The Virginia Code also declares occupations involving power-driven hoisting apparatus to be hazardous.

Permitted employment

Fourteen and fifteen-year old minors may be employed in the following:

Office and clerical work
Assembling orders, packing, and shelving.
Errand and delivery work by foot, bicycle, and public transportation.
Clean-up work, including the use of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers, and maintenance of grounds, but not including the use of power mowers or cutters.
Work in connection with cars and trucks, if confined to dispensing gasoline and oil, car cleaning, hand washing and polishing, and clerical work. The following work is not allowed: work involving the use of pits, racks, or lifting apparatus, or involving the inflation of any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable retaining ring.

Hours of work

No minor under 16 years of age may be employed:

During school hours
More than 40 hours in any one week when school is not in session
More than 18 hours in any one week when school is in session
More than 8 hours a day on a non-school day
More than 3 hours a day on a school day
Before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., except that from June 1 through Labor Day, such a minor may work until 9:00 p.m.

However, minors 14 and 15 years of age enrolled in a regular school work-training program may work during school hours as part of this program, but are otherwise subject to the hours-of-work limitations above.

Employment certificates

No child under 16 years of age may be employed unless the employer procures and keeps on file for the child an employment certificate. There are two kinds of employment certificates. A vacation or part-time employment certificate permits the employment of a child between 14 and 16 years of age only during school vacation periods or on days when school is not in session, or outside school hours on school days. A work-training certificate permits employment of a child between 14 and 16 years of age during school hours when enrolled in a regular school work-training program.

Employment certificates are issued only by school officials, and only upon application in person of the child desiring employment, accompanied by the parent, guardian or custodian of the child.

Age Certificates

An age certificate will be issued, upon request of the employer or the worker, for a person 16 years of age or over. The certificate will be issued by school officials upon presentation of proof of age (birth certificate, baptismal record, etc.).

Meal and rest periods

No minor under 16 years of age may work for more five hours continuously without an interval of at least 30 minutes for a lunch period. No period of less than 30 minutes is deemed to interrupt a continuous period of work.

Time records

Businesses employing minors under 16 years of age must keep appropriate time records for such minor employees that show the beginning and ending time of work each day together with the amount of time designated as a free-from-duty meal period, which is deductible from the schedule of hours of work. The record for the preceding 12 months for each such minor employee must be kept for a period of 36 months from the date of the latest work period recorded for the minor employee.

SESCO Management Consultants is available for assistance should you have questions about child labor laws. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .