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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Youth Employment FAQ

Youth Employment FAQ

Over the course of the summer many young people will seek out part time or seasonal employment, and businesses welcome the added labor during the busy holiday seasons. There are, however, additional regulations and rules that determine how people under the age of 18 can be employed.

To help employers and young people seeking work understand these guidelines and regulations, the New Hampshire Department of Labor publishes a list of frequently asked questions around youth employment. That list can be found on the NH DOL website here, however we have also included the questions and answers below.

When is the NH Youth Employment Certificate, also known as "Working Papers," required?

The Youth Employment Certificate is required for any youth 12 to 15 years old and must be on file at the employer's place of business within three business days of the first day of employment. Employers are required to have on file at the work place, at the time employment begins, written permission by the parent or guardian of a 16 or 17 year old permitting the youth's employment (RSA 276-A:4).

Do youths under the age of 18 need to have a NH Youth Employment Certificate?

Under the age of 16 they would have to have a New Hampshire Youth Employment Certificate. A 16 or 17 year old would have to have written permissions from a parent or legal guardian giving them permission to work. You can find this under RSA 276-A:4,II and RSA 276-A:4,VIII.

How do youths get a New Hampshire Youth Employment Certificate?

First they find a job. Then the employer completes a form called an Employer's Request for Child Labor and gives it to them. The youth takes that form to their local school or school superintendent's office and the school will issue the certificate (RSA 276-A:5), which the youth takes back to the employer.

If a 16 or 17 year old youth is not enrolled in school, how many hours can that youth work per day or week?

Not more than 10 hours a day or 48 hours a week at manual or mechanical labor in manufacturing establishment. Not more than 10¼ hours a day or 54 hours a week at manual or mechanical labor in any other employment that is not exempt by stature. Not more than 8 hours in 24 or 48 hours during the week if working night work (RSA 276-A:11 and RSA 276-A:13).

If a person is 18 and still in high school, are they considered to be a youth? 

No, the term youth means any person under 18 years of age (RSA 276-A:3,II).

Is a student who is home schooled considered duly enrolled in school and do the school hours restrictions apply?

Yes, per New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 1001.03 Duly Enrolled in School.

What are the hours that a youth can work during school time and on vacation?

It depends on the age of the youth as to the hours they can work and when they are working. You can find the hours a youth can work under RSA 276-A:4,IV-VIIRSA 276-A:11RSA 276-A:13 and New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 1002.03 Hours Limitations.

What does casual work mean?

Casual work shall mean employment of a brief duration of no more than 3 calendar days for any one employer (RSA 276-A:4,II(b) and New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 1001.02 Brief Duration).

When calculating the hours per week that a minor can work, is the work week the employer's work week?

No, the work week shall be Sunday through Saturday (RSA 276-A:4,VI).

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ken Teegardin under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

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