Missouri Child Labor Laws

January 8th 2024

Missouri has implemented child labor laws to protect the well-being of minors in the workforce, placing a strong emphasis on their safety by prohibiting hazardous working conditions and encouraging regular school attendance through limitations on child labor.

The purpose of this article is to explore the key components of child labor regulations in Missouri, which encompass age restrictions, restrictions on working hours, and industry-specific guidelines.

This article covers:


Employment Age for Minors in Missouri

Missouri has specific regulations regarding child labor that apply to minors under the age of 16.

Children under 14 years old are generally not allowed to work, with some exceptions to certain fields such as agriculture, entertainment, and casual jobs like babysitting, yard work, and newspaper delivery.

Working Permit for Minors in Missouri

Employers who hire minors must comply with child labor provisions and ensure that minors are trained to recognize workplace hazards and work safely.

Work certificates are required for minors under 16, but not for those over 12 who do occasional jobs.

Working Hours for Minors in Missouri

Minors aged 14 and 15 are subject to work time restrictions, including limited work hours and days, depending on whether or not school is in session.

Regional fairs have extended working hours until 10:30 p.m.

Time Tracking of Minors’ Hours in Missouri

Tracking working hours for underage employees is crucial for ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations, which in turn helps prevent the exploitation and mistreatment of child laborers. This practice allows for a careful balance between work and education, preserving a child’s right to receive an education and enjoy a healthy childhood.

Furthermore, the tracking of attendance and working hours enables the supervision of health and safety conditions, reducing the risk of children being exposed to hazardous or excessively long working hours.

Maintaining records and timesheets also serves as a means of holding employers accountable for their treatment of child laborers. Moreover, the data generated from time clock software is of great value to child rights organizations and policymakers as they advocate for stronger protections and regulations, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being and future prospects of child workers.

Missouri Payment Laws for Minors

For minors, employers must pay them the state minimum wage of $12 an hour.

The aforementioned regulations do not cover retail or service businesses that earn less than $500,000 per year.

Break Regulations for Minors in Missouri

Missouri’s regulations for breaks and meal periods vary depending on the industry and age of the employee.

For employed minors, neither state nor federal laws impose any specific requirements for break or meal periods.

However, in the entertainment industry, minors are subject to specific regulations for rest and break periods.

These regulations mandate that minors in the entertainment industry must have a break of 15 minutes every 2 hours of work, and they cannot work for more than 5.5 hours without a break.

Banned Jobs for Minors in Missouri

There are several categories of prohibited occupations and unacceptable workplaces and tasks for minors under the age of 16. These include:

  • Sales: Door-to-door sales are prohibited except for sales related to churches, scouts, schools, and charitable organizations.
  • Heavy Machinery: Minors are not allowed to operate heavy machinery such as ladders, scaffolding, freight elevators, cranes, and hoisting machines.
  • Manufacturing: Jobs in metal-producing industries including stamping, punching, cold rolling, shearing, or heating are not permitted.
  • Hazardous Materials: Transporting or handling Type A and B explosives or ammunition, and jobs involving ionizing or non-ionizing radiation or radioactive substances are prohibited.
  • Woodworking: Jobs in sawmills, cooperage stock mills, or where woodworking machinery is used are not allowed.
  • Alcoholic Beverage Establishments: Jobs in any alcoholic beverage establishments including selling, manufacturing, bottling, or storing alcohol unless 50 percent of the workplace sales are generated from other goods are prohibited.
  • Dangerous Jobs: Any job that is dangerous to the life, limbs, health, or morals of youth is also prohibited.

Workplace Notices and Documentation Requirements for Child Employees in Missouri

In addition to break and rest periods, Missouri has specific requirements for documentation and record-keeping for minors in employment.

Employers who hire minors must have the necessary documentation, including the work certificate, the minor’s name, age, and address, and the times when the minor worked.

Employers are also required to post the “Employer’s Employing Workers Under the Age of 16 List” conspicuously wherever the minor works.

To know more about the entitlements of employees, check our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Missouri and your rights as an hourly employee in Missouri. You can also learn more about Missouri 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.