In Minnesota, people under age 18 are considered minors for purposes of employment, and the Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act governs their work life, distinguishing among minors according to age, type of occupation, and hours of work (MN Stat. Sec. 181A.01et seq.). Both federal and state child labor laws apply to most employers. If there is a conflict between provisions, the stricter law applies--and these laws are strictly enforced.
Exemptions. The following are excluded from specific child labor provisions (MN Stat. Sec. 181A.07):
• Minors working in corn detasseling operations and other agricultural operations with permission from their parents may work more than 40 hours a week and more than 8 hours in a 24-hour day. Minors 12 years of age or older may work in such agricultural occupations.
• Minors working as actors, models, or performers are exempt from minimum age provisions.
• Minors working as newspaper carriers are exempt from restrictions on daily starting and ending times, but they must be at least 11 years old.
• Minors employed at home chores, as baby-sitters, or working for parents are exempt from all child labor provisions.
• Minors, at least 11 but less than 14 years old, working with written parental permission as youth athletic program referees, umpires, or officials for age brackets younger than the minor's age, if an adult representing the state or local athletic program is present.
• Work in agricultural occupations as permitted by federal law.
The commissioner of labor may grant exemptions from any provision if the exemption would be in the best interest of the child.