Nevada regulates the employment of minors under the age of 16 and prohibits them from working in conditions that would be dangerous to their physical or mental health. Generally, 16- and 17-year-old Nevada residents can work the same as adults, unless otherwise restricted by federal law. City and county laws provide additional regulations on the employment of minors, particularly in Clark County and the city of Las Vegas. Violation of the state's child labor law is a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in a fine of up to $2,500.
Hours for Minors Under 16
Unless they work on a farm or perform domestic duties such as babysitting in someone's house, Nevada does not permit those under the age of 16 to work more than 48 hours a week or eight hours a day. An exception from these restrictions applies to child actors working in television or film.
Nevada law also prohibits youth in this age range from working in certain dangerous or hazardous lines of work such as mining, or the manufacturing or preparation of tobacco or alcoholic beverages.
Employment of Minors Under 14
If a child under the age of 14 wants to work in Nevada, his parent or legal guardian must request permission from the judge of the district court in the county where the family lives. County courts have forms parents can use for this purpose. Once the minor obtains court permission, he still cannot work during hours when public schools are in session.
Children performing farm or domestic work do not need court permission to do so. Nor do child actors.
Entertainers and Athletes
Although minors employed in the entertainment industry are exempt from most of Nevada's child labor restrictions, any contract they enter must be approved by a court. This requirement applies to all minors under the age of 18.
When the judge approves the contract, she appoints a special guardian to represent the best interests of the minor. The guardian sets aside between 15 and 50 percent of the minor's net earnings and holds the money in trust until the minor turns 18. The judge who approves the contract determines the percentage to be held aside after a consideration of all the minor's circumstances.
Working in Las Vegas
Youth who want to work in Las Vegas have additional permits they must obtain before they can be lawfully employed. Certain occupations in the metro area require a work card or sheriff's card, provided by Clark County Juvenile Justice Services for those 17 and under. Different cards are required for different industries, with minors most likely seeking non-gaming, entertainer or child care work cards. Although work cards are valid for five years, a minor with a child care work card will have to reapply for a new card when she turns 18.
Before working in a restaurant or otherwise handling food and beverages, a minor will also need to get a health card.
Jennifer Mueller has a J.D. from the University of Indiana, Maurer School of Law. She has been sharing her legal knowledge on the internet since 2009. Mueller has been published in the Indiana Law Journal, and her writing appears on legal websites such as LegalZoom.