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Wisconsin Child Labor

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum age for most employment at 14. It also limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16 and prohibits minors under the age of 18 from working in hazardous occupations, as determined by the United States Department of Labor.

In addition to the federal standards, employers in Wisconsin must comply with Wisconsin’s child labor laws. Wisconsin law, through the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), regulates the employment of workers younger than 18 years of age.

When Wisconsin’s child labor laws and the (FLSA) child labor provisions overlap, the law providing the most protection to minors will prevail.

Wisconsin’s child labor laws protect minors by:

  • Requiring employees under the age of 16 to have a permit to perform work;
  • Limiting the age at which minors are allowed to work;
  • Prohibiting hazardous employment; and
  • Limiting the hours minors are allowed to work.

Permit Requirements

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Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.