Work Permits

Kids under 14 years:

Generally kids under 14 years old may not work for wages, although they can volunteer for charity.  There are some exceptions, including work on a farm, in a home (domestic work), for a parent’s business, as a volunteer for a charity, as a golf caddy, to deliver newspapers, or as a counselor at a youth camp.Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment §§ 3-203 & 3-209

Employees age 14 and 15 years:

  • Must have a work permit
  • School day: May not work more than 4 hours on any day
  • Holidays and weekends during the school year:  8 hours or less on any day
  • No more than 23 hours in a week when school is in session for 5 days
  • No more than 40 hours in a week when school is not in session
  • Labor Day through Memorial Day, hours allowed are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Memorial Day through Labor Day, hours allowed are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment § 3-211

Employees age 16 and 17 years:

  • Must have a work permit.
  • Total of school and work hours combined may not exceed 12 hours in a calendar day
  • In a calendar day, must have 8 hours that are neither school nor work
  • Breaks:  If you work more than 5 consecutive hours, a one-half hour break is required.
  • If you are 16 or 17, you do not need a work permit to work at the following jobs.  You are not allowed to work during school hours.
    • Farm work performed on a farm.
    • Domestic work performed in or about a home.
    • Working in a business owned or operated by your parent or guardian.
    • Working as a non-paid volunteer, in a charitable or non-profit organization, employed with the written consent of a parent or guardian.
    • Caddying on a golf course.
    • Teaching on an instructional sailboat.
    • Manufacturing evergreen wreaths in or near a home.
    • Delivering newspapers to the consumer.
    • Working as a counselor, assistant counselor, or instructor in a youth camp certified under the Maryland Youth Camp Act.

Read the Law: MD Code Labor & Employment §§ 3-203, 3-2063-210

Getting a Work Permit

Youth age 14-17 need a work permit.  Here is how you get one: 

  •  You need a job offer first!
  •  Get a work permit form and have your new employer fill it out. You can get a form from your school, or from the DLLR Employment of Minors web page
  •  Your parent/guardian needs to sign it.  

Bring the permit and your proof of age (identification) to school and have it signed.
Remember:  If you change jobs you need a new permit!Read the law: MD Code Labor & Employment § 3-206

Are my parents entitled to my income?

In Maryland, your parents may be allowed to take control of the money you earn if you are under 18.

Today this does not come up very often.  However, there is a case from 1943 where the judge decided that because your parents are your caretakers and guardian, a parent has the right to a child's income.

This is true unless the parents abandon, neglect, or are cruel to the child. However, the courts emphasize that each situation must be looked at individually. Lucas V. Maryland Drydock Co., 182 Md. 54,31 A. 2d 637 (1943).

There have been no court cases that have looked at this issue.  Today a court might decide differently in your situation.  There may be ways to deal with this.

Do you want more detail? Check the Labor and Employment Article, Title 3, Subtitle 2, of the Code of Maryland


Edited by Catherine McGuire
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