Employee Minimum Age Laws Colorado

In this article

Age Laws Overview

There are two acts one Federal and one State that stipulate the youth employment laws covering Colorado employers: 

1. Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act ( CYEOA)

2. Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA)

Whichever law sets the higher standard or provides the greater protection to the employee would apply.

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Under 18 Years Old

The CYEOA defines a minor as anyone under the age of 18 and restricts employers ability to work a minor more than 40 hours in a week or more than eight hours in any 24-hour period.  Additional caveats apply, so please refer to the Colorado Department of Labor's Youth Law page directly to see how this could apply to your situation.

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Under 16 Years Old

According to the Colorado Dept. of Labor, "Overall work limitations for those under 16 are:  no more than three hours on a school day including Fridays; a limit of eight hours on a non-school day; and no work time in excess of 18 hours during a school week.  For the purposes of enforcement in this area, Friday is considered a school day.  Additionally, on school days, during school hours, no minor under the age of 16 is permitted employment unless he or she has a school release permit.  Such a permit can be issued only by the superintendent of the school district where the minor is enrolled. Minors under 16 can work between 7:00am and 7:00pm during the basic school year, but between June 1 and Labor Day, the evening hours are extended to 9:00pm.  Those standards do not apply to persons aged 16 and 17 or to minors employed as actors, models or performers.

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Exemptions & Restrictions

There are various exemptions & restrictions as to the type of work that may be performed covering Youth aged 9 and above.  Please visit the Colorado Department of Labor's detailed Youth Law Page for more specifics before engaging the employment of a minor.  In addition, please see the FLSA page on hazardous jobs.

Here is a one page Colorado Youth Law fact sheet you might print and post in your job site to insure your employees and managers understand the rules to stay compliant.

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