Legal Updates & Alerts

Summer Help Wanted!

May 9, 2007
Are you thinking about hiring high school age employees for summer jobs? If so, remember that the employment of minors (ages 14-17) is heavily regulated, both under Oregon and federal laws. This is a quick list of things to keep in mind:
  • Employees must be 14 or older. Oregon prohibits employing minors under the age of 14 except in very limited circumstances.

  • Obtain an employment certificate. An employer must apply for and obtain an annual employment certificate from the Child Labor Unit of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). For more information, call BOLI at (971) 673-0836 or download the form at Once approved, the certificate must be posted in a conspicuous place where it can readily be reviewed by all employees.

  • Wages. The same minimum wage and overtime wage laws that cover adults also apply to minors, so you must pay at least $7.80 per hour. Minors also are covered by the same laws for payday, final paychecks, and deductions from wages as adult employees.

  • Work hours. Oregon law limits 16 and 17 year olds to work no more than 44 hours per week, except in limited circumstances. Employees who are 14 and 15 years old may work only outside of school hours and cannot work more than 40 hours per week (8 hours per day) when school is in session. Finally, employees under the age of 16 may only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except during the summer (June 1 through Labor Day), when they may work until 9 p.m.

  • Break and meal periods. Minors must be given break and meal periods similar to adults, except the rest periods must be at least 15 minutes for minors (versus 10 minutes for adults). Minors under 16 must be fully relieved of all duties during their 30-minute lunch period; minors over the age of 16 may be allowed, under certain circumstances, to work during a portion of their lunch periods if they are paid.

  • Types of work prohibited. Oregon law has a long list of specific jobs that are prohibited for minors because they are considered hazardous. For a list of those jobs, go to