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Mass Child Labor Laws

    Working Permits

    • No children under the age of 14 can hold a job---exceptions to this are newspaper carriers, some farm work, babysitting and specific jobs in the entertainment industry. All children between the ages of 14 and 17 must obtain work permits. Health certificates from a physician are required for 14- to 15-year-old teens.

    Prohibited Hazardous Jobs

    • Massachusetts lists 26 jobs that are prohibited for children under the age of 16. These positions are found to pose unsafe or unhealthy risks, and range from working with heat-related sources (broilers, cookers, barbecues, hot oils), power-driven machines (grinders, food slicers/choppers), and under dangerous conditions (in factories, on ladders or scaffolding, and in repair shops, warehouses, construction, meat processing plants, and commercial laundries), to name a few. In addition, teens under 16 cannot work in any jobs listed as under age 18 prohibited jobs.

      Under the age of 18, there are 24 job descriptions that teens cannot fulfill. These include jobs that require driving a vehicle or forklift, involve alcohol or power-driven machines, are performed above 30-feet, involve operating various machinery, involve demolition, explosives or firearms, as well as many other stipulations.


    • Hours teens can work are also regulated.Time to work, clock-face and money background image by Nikolai Sorokin from

      No matter the age, any job after 8 p.m. must have direct adult supervision. For teens during the school year, work hours are more limited. For 14- and 15-year- olds, they can work between 7a.m. and 7 p.m. with a maximum of three hours per day, 18 hours per week (eight hours per day on weekends and holidays). Sixteen and 17-year-old teens can work between 6a.m. and 10 p.m. during the school year, and not more than nine hours per day, six days per week and 48 hours in total per week, whether or not school is in session.

      During non-school days, 14- and 15-year-old teens may work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and the maximum number of hours is eight hours a day, six days a week, 40 hours per week. The 16- to 17-year-olds may work 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

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