BOX 5-1 Fair Labor Standards Act

All children working on their parents' farm are exempt from limits on hours of work and hazardous conditions. For other children working in agriculture:


  • Individuals over the age of 15 may perform any job, hazardous or not, for unlimited hours.

  • Children aged 14 and 15 may perform any nonhazardous farm job outside of school hours.

  • Children aged 12 and 13 may work outside school hours in nonhazardous jobs, either with their parents' consent or on the same farm as their parents.

  • Children under the age of 12 may perform nonhazardous jobs outside of school hours with their parents' consent on farms not covered by minimum-wage requirements.

  • Children aged 10 and 11 may be employed to hand-harvest short-season crops outside of school hours, under special waivers.

For other children under 16 working in agriculture, they are prohibited from:

Hazardous Conditions

  • Operating tractors with horsepower greater than 20 power take off.

  • Operating corn pickers, cotton pickers, grain combines, hay mowers, forage harvesters, hay balers, potato diggers, mobile pea viners, feed grinders, crop dryers, forage blowers, auger conveyors, nongravity-type self-unloading wagons or trailers, power post-hole diggers, power post drivers, or nonwalking type rotary tillers.

  • Operating trenchers or earth-moving equipment, fork lifts, potato combines, or power-driven saws.

  • Handling breeding animals, sows with suckling pigs, cows with newborn calves.

  • Felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with a butt diameter of more than 6 inches.

  • Using ladders or scaffolds more than 20 feet high

  • Driving a bus, truck, or car while transporting passengers, or riding as a passenger or helper on a tractor.

  • Working inside fruit, forage, or grain storage units, silos, or manure pits.

  • Exposure to agricultural chemicals classified as Category I or II of toxicity.

  • Working with explosives.

  • Being exposed to anhydrous ammonia.

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