All About Arizona’s Child Labor Laws


Looking to learn more about child labor laws in Arizona? Wondering whether there are restrictions on the amount of hours teenagers can work? When you aren’t familiar with the federal or state rules on these matters, you might be breaking the law without even knowing it.

Keeping up to date on the labor laws for high school students can help protect you against this.

Child Labor Laws- State vs. Federal

Child labor laws exist to prevent employers from exploiting children in the workplace. Both individual states and the federal government have their own sets of laws regarding this topic. In each state, the appropriate organization will enforce the laws involving child labor.

The Industrial Commission of AZ

In Arizona, the Industrial Commission of Arizona’s Labor Department is responsible for enforcing child labor laws and restrictions. This department ensures that underage employees aren’t working too many hours on a daily or weekly basis. 

These legal restrictions also prevent children from encountering hazardous or strenuous work conditions. If an employer breaks these laws, they’ll face legal penalties.

What if State and Federal Laws Conflict?

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act establishes child labor laws at a federal level. But the Labor Department previously mentioned has its own laws that may conflict, at times. If you’re confused by a conflict in information between these laws, you may want to consult a legal professional for clarification.

Child Labor Laws According to Age

Child labor laws dictate how businesses may employ youth in the state of Arizona, including the types of jobs children can do and the hours and times of day they can work. Typically, children who are 13 years old or younger aren’t allowed to work in the state. Here are some rules for other minors:

14 and 15 years old

Children who are 14 and 15 years old are allowed to work in a range of jobs in Arizona but there are limits on the number of hours they can work. This differs depending on whether school is in session or not.

While school is in session, 14 and 15-year old children may work:

  • Up to 18 hours per week.
  • Up to 3 hours per day.
  • Until 9:30 p.m. when there’s school the next day.
  • After 6:00 a.m. when there’s school the next day.
  • Door-to-door delivery or solicitation sales jobs until 7:00 p.m. on school nights.

While school is not in session, 14 or 15-year old children may work:

  • Up to 40 hours per week.
  • Up to 8 hours per day.
  • Until 11:00 p.m. on days when there is no school the following day.
  • After 6:00 a.m. on days when there is no school the following day.
  • Door-to-door delivery or solicitation sales jobs until 7:00 p.m. on evenings when there is no school the following day.

The current child labor laws cover what types of jobs or occupations are okay for kids who are 14 or 15 years old. You can learn more about the specifications for this under the Arizona Revised Statute section 23-232.

16 and 17 years old

Youth who are either 16 or 17 years old can work in a variety of jobs but (usually) can’t perform work that the law has deemed too hazardous. Potentially hazardous work includes tasks related to radioactive materials, quarry or logging occupations, and power-driven metal working. Arizona Revised Statute section 23-231 covers these restrictions in detail.

Variances from Labor Law Restrictions

Employers can get variances from restrictions in current child labor laws by applying with the Arizona Industrial Commission. The organization will conduct an investigation and let the employer know whether or not they’ll get the variance. If the Arizona industrial Commission denies the application, the employer can request a hearing.

Here’s some of the information that the employer must include in the application:

  • The type of variation, renewal, or modification the form is requesting.
  • Information on the wage scale including payment timing and methods.
  • A statement about the protection of the child’s well-being and safety.
  • The name and title of the person submitting the form.
  • The name and birthdate of the child seeking work.
  • The maximum daily and weekly hours the child would work.
  • Information about the child’s school (if applicable).
  • Approval from the child’s parent or legal guardian.
  • The employer’s name and address.
  • The address of the business.
  • The type of business.

The application will also request information about how the variation would benefit the community and the child seeking employment. The employer should include the immediate supervisors of the child on the application. It must also include a statement covering any training or related certificates the child has received for the job.

Arizona Child Labor Laws on Breaks

You might assume that, as an employee, you’re entitled to rest and meal breaks. But federal law doesn’t require employers to allot time off for lunch or rest. If you’re given a short break (between five and 20 minutes) during the day, your employer must pay you for it. Short breaks such as these count as part of the work day, unlike an hour-long lunch break that you’d clock out for.

Plenty of businesses give their employees breaks according to their company policy, but just keep in mind that it’s not federally required. While a number of states legally require employers to give their employees rest or meal breaks, Arizona isn’t one of them.

Need Help with an Employment-Related Question?

Arizona is full of thriving businesses with thousands of employers and workers. Figuring out the specifics of legal employment rules or child labor laws today can be tricky. You may also be wondering about whether to follow the state or the federal rules when they conflict. 

Contact our employment lawyers for help with your legal questions.

Call our Employment Law team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.

Contact Our Employment Law Team

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