Idaho Child Labor Laws

January 8th 2024

Child labor laws ensure the welfare of minors in employment, prioritizing their safety by prohibiting hazardous conditions and promoting consistent school attendance through limitations on child labor.

This article intends to examine the essential elements of Idaho’s child labor regulations, including age limitations, restrictions on working hours, and industry-specific guidelines.

This article covers:


Employment Age for Minors in Idaho

In Idaho, child labor is regulated by federal FLSA laws and as such the minimum age for employment in Idaho is 14 years old. 

This applies to most non-agricultural work. 

However, there are certain exceptions where younger individuals can engage in specific types of work. 

Younger minors may be allowed to deliver newspapers, participate in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions, work in their parents’ businesses (except in mining, manufacturing, or hazardous jobs), and perform babysitting or minor household tasks.

It’s worth mentioning that there are different work-hour restrictions and prohibited occupations for minors of various ages.

Working Permit for Minors in Idaho

Under Idaho law, minors are not mandated to obtain Employment Certificates or Work Permits in order to work.

However, employers are still obligated to adhere to all child labor restrictions and regulations imposed by the state.

Working Hours for Minors in Idaho

The laws regarding underage workers vary depending on their age. Kids who are 14 or 15 can work up to 3 hours per day or 18 hours per week during the school year.

During breaks, however, they are allowed to work up to 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.

They can also start their shifts at 7 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m. during the school year.

This limit is extended to 9 p.m. from June until Labor Day. As for 16 and 17-year-olds, they are subject to no restrictions when it comes to the number of hours they can work.

Time Tracking of Minors’ Hours in Idaho

Tracking work hours for minor employees plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations, preventing the exploitation and abuse of child workers. It helps maintain a delicate balance between work and education, protecting a child’s right to receive an education and have a healthy childhood.

Furthermore, monitoring attendance and working hours allows for the oversight of health and safety conditions, reducing the risk of children being exposed to hazardous or excessively long working hours.

Records and timesheets can also serve as tools for holding employers accountable for their treatment of child laborers. Additionally, the data generated from time clock software is invaluable for child rights organizations and policymakers in their efforts to advocate for stronger protections and regulations, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being and future prospects of child workers.

Idaho Payment Laws for Minors

Minors under 20 who are starting a new job in Idaho can be paid a training minimum wage of $4.25 per hour, but only for the first 90 calendar days of work.

After this period, they are entitled to the state minimum wage which is the same as the federal minimum wage and currently stands at $7.25 per hour.

Meal and Break Period Regulations for Minors in Idaho

Idaho break laws do not mandate employers to provide breaks or rest periods to their employees. 

However, if the employment agreement includes provisions for breaks, federal regulations govern their implementation. 

According to these regulations, breaks of up to 20 minutes are considered part of the total working hours and should be compensated. 

Meal breaks longer than 30 minutes do not need to be paid unless the employee is required to work during the break.

To learn more about the entitlements of employees in Idaho, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Idaho and your rights as an hourly employee in Idaho.

Banned Jobs for Minors in Idaho

Idaho follows the regulations set forth by the FLSA which address the prohibition of minors from working in occupations that are considered too dangerous. 

Some examples of these occupations are:

  • Handling or being near any type of explosives
  • Operating a motor vehicle or working as an outside helper
  • Mining or quarrying
  • Logging
  • Operating power-driven machinery

Violating Minors Employment Laws in Idaho

Idaho employers who fail to comply with the state’s child labor laws may face both civil and criminal penalties. The specific amount of the penalty will vary based on the seriousness of the violation committed.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows for a maximum fine of $10,000 if someone intentionally and knowingly violates child labor regulations.

Additionally, if this violation is a second offense committed after a prior conviction, the person may face imprisonment for a period of up to 6 months.

You can also learn more about Idaho Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.