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Changes Effective July 1, 2023

Iowa Child Labor Permits will no longer be required.

Minors under 16 can work the following times and hours:

School in Session

• 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

• 6-hour shift on school days

• 8-hour shift on weekend days

• 30-minute break after 5 hours worked

• 28 hours per week

School Not in Session

• 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

• 8-hour work day

• 30-minute break after 5 hours worked

• 40 hours per week

Please refer to the pamphlet “Hiring Iowa Teens” for further information.

The Iowa Division of Labor protects Iowa’s children from certain hazards and from being overworked. The extent of these protections are dependent upon the age of the child.

Children 16 and 17 years old are prohibited from doing certain dangerous tasks and from certain dangerous occupations.

Children 14 and 15 years old have additional restrictions, there are limits on the time and hours they can work.

Child Labor Permit

Effective July 1, 2023, Child Labor Permits are no longer required.

Note: A child labor work permit is not a driving permit. If a driving permit or license is needed, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Youth Employment Waiver

Effective July 1, 2023, Iowa's updated Youth Employment Law (Senate File 542) makes several changes, including the ability for Iowa employers to apply for a waiver for 16- and 17-year-olds to participate in approved work-based learning or work-related programs involving certain hazardous work activities under certain conditions. 

The waiver process is done in conjunction with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), and the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL). Below is more information on the process, the list of hazardous and always prohibited activities, and how the waiver may or may not apply in different cases. 

Every effort will be made to review program applications in a timely manner. Typically, applicants can expect to receive a decision regarding their waiver request within fourteen (14) days of submission. For any questions about your application or to discuss your program with the state, please contact youthemploymentwaiver@iwd.iowa.gov.

For more information and a link the the Waiver Application, please see the Iowa Workforce Development page detailing the process and FAQs.

Child Labor Exemptions

In 2019 the Iowa legislature amended the child labor chapter to include additional “exceptions” from its requirements. Beginning July 1, 2019, the following are generally not required to comply with Iowa child labor law:

  • Volunteer work for a charitable or public purpose.
  • Referees twelve years of age or older working for a charitable organization, a unit of government, or an organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.
  • The Iowa Summer Youth Corps Program.
  • Any recognized program of the Iowa National Service Corps for children over fourteen.

These do not require a permit and do not have hours restrictions. However, the kinds of permissible tasks are still limited by the hazardous/prohibited occupation restrictions in section 92.8.

Federal Labor Law

For information on federal child labor law, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, in Des Moines at 515-284-4625. Employers are subject to both state and federal child labor laws and, when there are differences, must follow the law that gives the most protection.

Hours of Operation

8:00am to 4:30pm • Monday - Friday

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