How Many Hours Can a Minor Work in Michigan?

By Julie McMurchie - Updated July 23, 2018
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In Michigan, the state standards for the number of hours and days minors can work are overall stricter than the federal guidelines. The exception is for minor employees, ages 14 to 15 years old; they are permitted to work longer hours on any given day, including school days. The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, Division of Labor and Wages regulates youth employment.

Michigan Minor Work Permit

Employees under 18 years of age are required to have a work permit before starting work, this is similar to the laws requiring a work permit in California and other states. The work permit requirement and all restrictions regarding hazardous occupations do not apply to minors who have completed school, passed the GED test, are emancipated, are married, are employed under a contract between the school board and an employer, work for a parent-owned-and-operated company, or work on a farm cultivating and harvesting crops or tending livestock.

Hours A Minor May Work

The combined number of work hours and school hours must not exceed 48 hours per work week for minors. Work hours cannot exceed 48 hours per week for periods when the minor is not in school. Minors are permitted to work up to six days per work week. They can work a maximum of 10 hours per day, but the average work day must be no longer than eight hours per week. Workers under 18 years old are not permitted to work longer than five hours without a 30-minute meal or rest period, which must be recorded in the worker’s time records.

Minimum Age of Employment

Most jobs in Michigan require teens to be at least 14 years old. A child as young as 11 years old can be employed as a golf or bridge caddy or a sports referee. This is different than the legal working age in California and most other states. A 13-year-old can be employed as a trap setter or in farming operations that involve the production of seed, such as corn detasseling or hoeing. Teens 14 years of age and older can be employed in a variety of jobs that are not classified as hazardous occupations. Hazardous jobs include pizza delivery, working with hazardous materials, construction jobs, positions that require the use of power tools, ladders or scaffolding or power-operated food processing equipment. Minors 14 to 17 years old can be employed where alcohol is sold but not consumed.

14 and 15-Year-Olds

Teens ages 14 and 15 can work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. except for during school hours. Some businesses may be required to follow stricter federal standards. The federal standards allow for this age group to work at the following times and for the following lengths: between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June; no more than three hours after school; no more than eight hours per day on nonschool days; until 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day; and no more than 40 hours per week when school is not in session.

16 and 17-Year-Olds

Minors ages 16 and 17 years of age are permitted to work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. They can work until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and during times when school is not regularly in session. They are limited to no more than 10 hours per day and an average of eight hours per day for a work week. Special hours apply for corn detasseling and agricultural processing. A summary chart of these restrictions may be posted at the workplace.

About the Author

Julie McMurchie has been writing family-related articles since 1990. Her work has appeared in "The Pony Express" and "California Kids Magazine." She studied composition and creative writing at Riverside Community College.

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