Information about Youth Hours and Duties

When can you work?

If you're 14 or 15 you cannot work:

  • During school hours
  • Before 6:00 am or after 7:00 pm, except during school vacations when work is permitted until 9:00 pm
  • For businesses covered by federal law, work is permitted from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm from June 1 until Labor Day
  • More than eight hours per day.
  • For businesses covered by federal law, more than 3 hours per day on school days.
  • More than 40 hours per week.
  • For businesses covered by federal law,  more than 18 hours per week in school weeks, or more than 40 hours per week in non-school weeks.

EXCEPTION - An exception is provided for minors employed pursuant to a Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP).

If you're 16-17, you cannot work:

  • More than 48 hours per week.
  • More than 9 hours per day (9 3/5 hours in a 5-day work week)
  • Before 6 am or after 11:30 PM (1:30 AM if no school the next day)
  • Without an 8-hour respite between the end of a shift on one day and the start of work the next day

EXCEPTION - There are no hour limitations during school vacations. There are no limitations on hours or a curfew for 16 and 17 year olds who have left school.

Permitted Jobs include:

Office and clerical work, including operation of office machines
Cashiering, selling, modeling art work, work in advertising departments, window trimming and comparative shopping
Price marketing and tagging by hand or by machine, assembling orders, packing and shelving
Bagging and carrying out customers’ orders
Errand and delivery work by foot, bicycle and public transport
Cleanup work, including the use of vacuum cleaners and non-commercial floor waxers, and maintenance of grounds, but not including the use of power-driven mowers or cutters
Kitchen work and other work involved in preparing and serving food and beverages, including the operation of machines and devices used in the performance of such work, such as, dishwashers, toasters, dumbwaiters, popcorn poppers and milkshake blenders
Cleaning vegetables and fruits, and wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing and stocking goods when performed in areas physically separate from areas where meat is prepared for sale, and from outside freezers or meat coolers.


For more information and resources please visit:

RI DLT - Child Labor Department

RI Child Labor Law Poster

Ready to Work? Understanding R's Child Labor Laws Brochure (español)

MA Department of Labor Standards

MA Guide for Working Teens

MA laws regulating minors’ work hours