Federal Child Labor Regulations

Part 1500 of Title 29 of the 1970 Code of Federal Regulations declare certain occupations in agriculture to be particularly hazardous for the employment of youth below the age of 16. As part of this regulation, Tractor and Machinery Certification programs were initiated to provide exemptions from the first two requirements.


This regulation makes it unlawful to hire or even permit without pay any youth under age 16 to participate in any work activities listed as hazardous, unless:

    • The youth is working on a farm owned and operated by the youth’s parents or legal guardian, or
    • The youth has a training certificate which provides an exemption from certain hazardous work activities, or
    • The youth is employed under a cooperative-student learner program in which there is a written agreement between the employer and the school.

Age Requirements

Any 14 or 15 year old is allowed to work outside of school hours in any job not listed as a hazardous job activity. These nonhazardous activities may even be done by youth under the age of 14 if they are employed by their parent or guardian on a farm owned and operated by the parent or guardian.Youth who are 12 or 13 years of age may also be employed on other farms in jobs not classified as hazardous if they have written consent of their parent or guardian. Written consent is not required for youth who are 12 or 13 years old and work on a farm where their parent or guardian is also employed.

There are no restrictions on employment of workers 16 years of age or older in agricultural work activities. NOTE: Agriculture does not include landscaping or golf course maintenance.