Teen Labor Laws in Michigan

By Lane Madison

The Michigan legislature has enacted teen labor laws, entitled the Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act, to protect minors from unsafe and unhealthy work conditions. This act limits the number of hours and days minors are allowed to work, prohibits minors from working in certain occupations, sets minimum wages for minors and requires minors to obtain a work permit before beginning a job.

Work Permits

Minors ages 11 to 17 who wish to work in Michigan must first obtain a work permit. Minor workers must request the permit from their school or school district’s issuing officer, typically the superintendent or designated staff member in the superintendent’s office. Workers under 16 years of age must obtain a CA-6 permit and 16- and 17-year-olds must obtain a CA-7 permit. Minors must obtain a new permit for each job until they graduate from high school or turn 18.

Work Hours

Workers 14 and 15 years old may work up to three hours a day while school is in session and up to eight hours on non-school days and up to 18 hours in a school week and 40 hours when school is out. They may work between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. while school is in session and between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. during summer vacation. Minors younger than 16 may work up to 48 hours per week, counting both work and school.

Minors 16 and 17 years old may work between 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. on school nights and until 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and during school vacations. They may work up to six days in a week, up to 10 hours per day, and may not exceed 48 hours between work and school per week.


Employers may pay minors age 16 and 17 the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour instead of the Michigan minimum hourly wage of $7.40. They may pay minors age 16 through 19 $4.25 as a training wage for the first 90 days of employment.


Minors ages 11 to 14 are limited to working as golf and bridge caddies and as youth athletic referees. All minors are prohibited from performing a number of dangerous occupations in Michigan, including but not limited to roofing, construction excavation, mining, logging and sawmill operations, meat packing, slaughtering, rendering and tanning, and operating a number of power-driven machines.

About the Author

Lane Madison is a freelance writer and editor with over eight years experience as a corporate paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English and a paralegal certificate. Her writing has been published on various websites.

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