Human Resources Director

555 S. Howes Street, 2nd Floor
Fort Collins, CO 80523-6004

(970) 491-MyHR (6947)

Child Labor Laws

Managers & Supervisors


Both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) & the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CRS 8-12-101, et seq.) contain provisions specifically relating to child labor. The following is a summary of the relevant sections of these statutes.

This summary was prepared by the Human Resource Services Director's Office. Please refer any questions regarding the employment of minors, not addressed in this summary to the that Office at 491-5793.

Minimum Age
Employment Standards for
14- and 15-Year Olds
Employment Standards for
16- and 17-Year Olds
Proof of Age Violations


Minimum Age Requirements

Generally, no person under the age of fourteen is permitted employment at the University.

Employment Standards for 14- and 15-Year Olds

Employment of 14- and 15-year old minors is permitted in any assignment, except those that follow. In addition, work hour limits apply, as noted below.

14 and 15 year-old minors may not be employed in:

  1. Any manufacturing occupation
  2. Any mining occupation
  3. Processing occupations such as filleting of fish, dressing poultry, etc.
  4. Occupations requiring the performance of any duties in Workrooms or Workplaces where goods are manufactured, mined, or otherwise processed.
  5. Public messenger service
  6. Operation or tending of hoisting apparatus or of any power-driven machinery
  7. Any occupations found and declared to be hazardous (see below)
  8. Occupations in connection with:
    1. Transportation of persons or property by rail, highway, air, on water, pipeline, or other means
    2. Warehousing and storage
    3. Communications and public utilities
    4. Construction (including repair)
  9. Any of the following occupations in a retail, food service, or gasoline service establishment:
    1. Work performed in or about boiler or engine rooms
    2. Work in connection with maintenance or repair of the establishment machines or equipment
    3. Outside window washing that involves working from window sills, and all work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutes.
    4. Cooking (except at soda fountains, lunch counters, snack bars, or cafeteria serving counters) and baking
    5. Occupations which involving operating, setting up , adjusting, cleaning , oiling, or repairing, power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppers and cutters, and bakery-type mixers
    6. Work in freezers and meat coolers and all work in preparation of meats for sale (except wrapping, sealing, labeling, weighing, pricing, and stocking when performed in other areas)
    7. Loading and unloading goods to and from trucks, railroad cars, or conveyors
    8. All occupation in warehouses, except office and clerical work

Hour and Time Standards

14 and 15 year-old minors may not be employed:

  1. During School hours, except as provided for in Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs.
  2. Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day
  3. More than 3 hours a day on school days
  4. More than 18 hours a week in school weeks
  5. More than 8 hours a day on nonschool days
  6. More than 40 hours a week in nonschool weeks

Employment Standards for 16- and 17-Year-Olds

Employment of 16 and 17-year old minors is permitted in any assignment, except those listed as "Hazardous Occupations" below. In addition, 16 and 17-year olds are prohibited from working more that 8 HOURS A DAY and 40 HOURS A WEEK.

Hazardous Occupations

The FLSA provides a minimum age of 18 years for the following 17 hazardous occupations:

  1. Manufacturing and storing explosives
  2. Motor-vehicle driving
  3. Coal mining
  4. Logging and sawmilling
  5. Power-driven woodworking machines
  6. Exposure to radioactive substances
  7. Power-driven hoisting apparatus
  8. Power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines
  9. Mining, other than coal mining
  10. Slaughtering, or meat-packing, processing, or rendering
  11. Power-driven bakery machines
  12. Power-driven paper-products machines (i.e., power-driven machines used in the remanufacture or conversion of paper or pulp into a finished product)
  13. Manufacturing brick , tile, and kindred products
  14. Power-driven circular saws , band saws , and guillotine shears
  15. Wrecking, demolition, and ship-breaking operations
  16. Roofing operations
  17. Excavation operations

Proof of Age

Hiring personnel are encouraged to request verification of age when employing minors. Certificates are available from the local schools, but driver's license or other formal documentation may be acceptable.


Both the FLSA and Colorado law provide for possible civil and criminal penalties, including fines and jail time, for willful violation of any of these provisions.