Teens – When and Where Can You Legally Work in Wisconsin?


Labor laws state when teens can work and what teens can do. Each state has specific laws that apply to teens. Here’s what you can expect in Wisconsin Labor Laws.

Who is a minor?

“Child labor”
refers to the employment of anyone under the age of 18 (minors) in any type of business.

Minors may be employed only in certain types of work until they turn 18.

Minors under age 16 may be employed only during certain hours of the day and of the week.

What do employers need to know?

Every employer is responsible for having a work permit on file for a minor before allowing that minor to work in his or her business.

The employer is also responsible for making sure that minors work only the hours allowed and that they do not perform any prohibited employment. These provisions are enforced by the Equal Rights Division.

Employers of minors under the age of 16 are subject to certain restrictions when scheduling minors to work. The time of day teens may be employed, including how early and how late, and the number of hours minors can work per day and per week are restricted. These restrictions depend on whether the work day is a school day or whether the week falls during the summer season (June 1 through Labor Day) or during the school year (after Labor Day through May 31).

The hours that 16 and 17-year-old minors may work is not limited, except that they may not work during hours they are required to be in school.

Teens hired for non-agricultural employment (which is just about everything other than farm work) must be at least 14.

Good News for some Wisconsin Promise Youth!

Hours worked during school hours as part of an approved written work experience program do not count as part of the total permitted hours of work per day or per week.

For more information visit
Wisconsin Child Labor Laws

Sally Scheidegger

Sally has 25 years of experience in education and employment. She enjoys working as a trainer in the Skills to Pay the Bills area and in the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment model

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