Oklahoma Child Labor Laws

January 8th 2024

Child labor laws play a vital role in safeguarding the rights and well-being of young workers.

Federal and state laws in Oklahoma aim to create a safe working environment for minors free from hazardous conditions while also encouraging regular school attendance by limiting child labor.

In this article, we will explore the key provisions of child labor laws in Oklahoma, age restrictions, working hours, and the specific regulations for different industries.

This article covers:


Minimum Working Age for Minors in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the minimum age for employment is 14 years, with some exceptions. Children working on farms, for their parents, or in entities where a parent has an ownership interest are exempt from this requirement. Similarly, children involved in selling or delivering newspapers to consumers are also exempt.

Working Permit for Minors in Oklahoma

The Employment Certificate of Age and Schooling in Oklahoma or working permit is essential for certain minors to begin working in Oklahoma. 

These certificates must be obtained by the minors themselves and presented to their prospective employers as proof of their eligibility to work before they can be hired.

The approval of the work permit for minors in Oklahoma is required from the school’s principal, headmaster, or a similar administrative officer if the child attends or should be attending school.

In the case of homeschooled children, the certificate must be approved by their parents. 

The Issuing Officer from the school verifies the child’s age and ensures compliance with the compulsory school requirements as outlined in Title 70 Section 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Age Certification for Minors in Oklahoma 

In Oklahoma, age certification is a required process for minors under 16 to provide proof of their age to prospective employers.

This certification ensures compliance with child labor laws specific to their age group.

Minors in Oklahoma have the option to obtain age certification through their school, typically by reaching out to a guidance counselor or school administrator for assistance.

Working Hours for Minors in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, underage workers are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding work hours. 

If a worker is aged 14 to 15 years old, employers must follow the following restrictions and regulations for their employment:

  • Work is allowed between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or 9 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day).
  • A maximum of 3 hours of work is allowed on a school day.
  • A maximum of 8 hours of work is allowed on non-school days.
  • A maximum of 18 hours of work is allowed during a school week.
  • A maximum of 40 hours of work is allowed on a non-school week.

In Oklahoma, the law requires that minors who are under 16 years old are given a one-hour break if they work for 8 consecutive hours, or a 30-minute break if they work for 5 consecutive hours. However, workers who are 16 years old and above are not required to have any break periods. 

Time Tracking of Minors’ Hours in Oklahoma

Tracking work time for minor employees can help ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations, preventing the exploitation and abuse of child workers.It allows for a careful balance between work and education, safeguarding a child’s right to education and a healthy childhood. 

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

Records and timesheets can also be a tool for holding employers accountable for their treatment of child laborers. Furthermore, the data generated from time clock software can be invaluable for child rights organizations and policymakers to advocate for stronger protections and regulations, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being and future prospects of child workers. 

Break Requirements for Minors in Oklahoma

Break requirements differ for minors based on their age in Oklahoma. 

For 14 or 15-year-olds, there are specific break laws in place. They must be given a cumulative rest period of one hour for every eight consecutive hours worked or a 30-minute rest period for every five consecutive hours worked. It is mandatory for employers to document these break periods. 

However, once a minor reaches 16 years of age, there are no specific requirements for breaks or lunches.

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

Banned Jobs for Minors in Oklahoma

Oklahoma enforces hazardous occupation restrictions set by the FLSA.

As such, employers who hire workers under 16 must provide a secure and sanitary work environment, without any risks. 

Minors under 16 are prohibited from working in certain occupations including manufacturing, mining, machinery operation, and transportation services. They also cannot work in warehousing, public utilities, communications, or demolition. 

Exceptions to these include farm work, delivering newspapers, and working for a parent’s business. 

Sanctions for Employing Minors in Oklahoma

If an employer or organization in Oklahoma violates any of the aforementioned rules relating to the employment of minors, they may receive a misdemeanor charge and be fined up to $500 per occurrence.

In addition, they may face imprisonment for a period of 10-30 days.

Learn more about Oklahoma 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.