Virginia's child labor laws

Laws ~ Hours ~ Job Types

From the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Labor


NOTE:  The state has made a change in the Child Labor Laws.  Students must now be 16 years old to work with animals.


Do you plan to work part-time, after school, or during the summer? Then you need to be aware of the following guidelines regarding employment of minors, that is, anyone under the age of 18.


Minimum age for a work permit:

Generally, 14 years of age.


The primary requirements for working minors:


Work permits are required before beginning work:

For minors under age 16.


Obtaining a work permit:

See your school counselor

There are two forms –

  1. Intention to Employ, which is completed by your employer and must clearly state the work you will be doing.
  2. Permission for Employment, which is completed by your parent. It is a good idea for the parent and child to complete and sign the form in the school counseling office.   You may be asked to provide proof of age. Acceptable proof includes a birth certificate, or a Bible or baptismal record, or an insurance policy at least 12 months old, or a school record.


The work permit has three copies:


Note: If you change jobs, you will need a new work permit.


Permits can be revoked or refused:

If you received it by mistake or by misrepresenting any facts or evidence.



Hours teens may work in Virginia


Twelve and thirteen years of age


Fourteen and fifteen years of age


Note: The above restrictions do not apply to teens working on farms, in gardens or orchards, but you are not allowed to work during school hours, and you must be allowed the meal break.


Sixteen and seventeen years of age


All teenagers, regardless of age, may work unrestricted hours in the following:


Note: Work permits are not required for these activities, or for volunteer work.


Jobs that can be held by teenagers in the State of Virginia


Age 12 and older


Age 14 and older


Age 16 and older


Note: In many of these occupations you may not operate machinery which has been declared hazardous in regulations of the Department of Labor and Industry. Contact the Department for additional information.


Hanover Career Student Resource


For more information call the central Department of Labor and Industry office in Richmond, Virginia at 804-786-2386.