Comparison of Federal vs Colorado Youth Laws

 

The Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CYEOA) of 1971 is a state law regulating youth employment in the state of Colorado.  In addition to reviewing the restrictions under the CYEOA, the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should be reviewed.  The FLSA is a federal law and its regulations do not permit the employment of minors in a variety of circumstances.  The Colorado Division of Labor is a state agency and cannot intervene or assist in matters involving the application and interpretation of federal laws.

NOTE: When both federal and state laws apply, the more stringent standard must be observed. For more information about federal law and the FLSA, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 720-264-3250 or 866-487-9243.

Coverage of the Law

 Colorado Law Federal Law 

The Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act applies to all employment of minors in Colorado, where employment means any occupation engaged in compensation in money or other valuable consideration, whether paid to the minor or some other person, including, but not limited to, occupation as a servant, agent, or independent contractor.

The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to employees of covered enterprises as defined by the law, as well as employees individually engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.


 

Definition of a Minor
A minor means any person under the age of eighteen, except an individual who has received a high school diploma or a passing score on the general educational development examination
Definition of a Minor
Federal child labor rules only apply to individuals under the age of eighteen.

 

Exemptions

 

Colorado Law  Federal Law 

Certain exemptions from the law exist for:

  • Newspaper carriers
  • Actors, models, and performers
  • School work and supervised educational activities
  • Home chores
  • Work done for a parent or guardian
    (unless the parent or guardian receives payment for the work)

Certain exemptions from the law exist for:

  • Newspaper carriers
  • Actors and performers
  • Youths engaged in making wreaths
  • Youths younger than 16 working in a business solely owned or operated by their parents
  • Agricultural employment
  • Apprentices and student-learners

 

Minimum Age Requirements & Permissible Occupations

 

Colorado Law  Federal Law 

9 year-olds are permitted employment involving:

  • Delivery of handbills, advertising, and advertising samples.
  • Shoeshining.
  • Gardening and care of lawns involving no power-driven lawn equipment.
  • Cleaning of walks involving no power-driven snow-removal equipment.
  • Casual work usual to the home of the employer and not specifically prohibited.
  • Caddying on golf courses.
  • Any other occupation similar to those listed above and not specifically prohibited
14 is the minimum age for working, unless one of the FLSA exemptions applies.

12 year-olds are permitted employment involving:

  • Occupations listed above.
  • Sale and delivery of periodicals.
  • Door-to-door selling and delivery of merchandise.
  • Baby-sitting.
  • Gardening and care of lawns, including the operation of power-driven lawn equipment if such type of equipment is approved by the division or if the minor has received training conducted or approved by the division in the operation of the equipment.
  • Cleaning of walks, including the operation of power-driven snow-removal equipment.
  • Agricultural work, except for any such work considered hazardous under federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Any occupation similar to those enumerated above and not specifically prohibited.
14 is the minimum age for working, unless one of the FLSA exemptions applies.

14 year-olds are permitted employment involving:

  • Occupations listed above.
  • Non-hazardous occupations in manufacturing.
  • Public messenger service and errands by foot, bicycle, and public transportation.
  • Operation of automatic enclosed freight and passenger elevators.
  • Janitorial and custodial service, including the operation of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers.
  • Office work and clerical work, including the operation of office equipment.
  • Warehousing and storage, including unloading and loading of vehicles.
  • Non-hazardous construction and non-hazardous repair work. See Advisory Bulletin # 4 (III) for hazardous occupations for minors.
  • Occupations in retail food service.
  • Occupations in gasoline service establishments including (but not limited to):
    • Dispensing gasoline, oil, and other consumer items.
    • Courtesy service.
    • Car cleaning, washing, and polishing.
    • The use of hoists (where supervised).
    • Changing tires. Note: No minor may inflate or change any tire mounted on a rim equipped with a removable retaining ring.
  • Occupations in retail stores including:
    • Cashiering.
    • Selling.
    • Modeling.
    • Art work.
    • Work in advertising departments.
    • Window trimming.
    • Price marking by hand or machine.
    • Assembling orders.
    • Packing and shelving.
    • Bagging and carrying out customers' orders.
  • Occupations in restaurants, hotels, motels, or other public accommodations. Note: minors may not operate power food slicers and grinders.
  • Occupations related to parks or recreation including, but not limited to, recreation aides and conservation projects.
  • Any other occupation which is similar to those enumerated above.

14 and 15 year-olds may work in:

  • Retail stores.
  • Food service establishments.
  • Gasoline service stations.


The jobs 14 and 15 year-olds may perform include:

  • Bagging and carrying out customer orders.
  • Cashiering, selling, modeling, artwork, advertising, window trimming, or comparative shopping.
  • Cleaning fruits and vegetables.
  • Clean-up work and grounds maintenance, including vacuums and floor waxers, but not power-driven mowers, cutters, and trimmers.
  • Delivery work by foot, bicycle, or public transportation
  • Kitchen work in preparing and serving food and drinks, but not cooking or baking.
  • Office and clerical work.
  • Pricing and tagging goods, assembling orders, packing, or shelving.
  • Pumping gas, cleaning and polishing cars and trucks (but not including car repair, using garage lifting racks, or working in pits).
  • Wrapping, weighing, pricing, or stocking any goods as long as they don't work where meat is being prepared and don't work in freezers or coolers.

 16 year-olds and older are permitted employment involving:

  • Any occupation listed above
  • Any occupation which involves the use of a motor vehicle if the minor is licensed to operate the motor vehicle pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes.
16 year-olds and older are permitted employment in any non-hazardous occupation.
18 year-olds are not minors and are not subject to Colorado youth laws. 18 year-olds are not subject to Federal child labor laws.

 

Work Hours

 

Colorado Law  Federal Law
  • On school days, during school hours, no minor under the age of 16 is permitted employment except as granted by a school release permit.
  • On school days, after school hours, no minor under the age of 16 is permitted to work in excess of 6 hours unless the next day is not a school day.
  • Except for babysitters, no minor under the age of 16 is permitted employment between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless the next day is not a school day.
  • Minors may not work more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours in any 24-hour period unless there is a business emergency.

14 and 15 year-olds can only work:

  • Before and after school hours.
  • After 7:00 a.m. or before 7:00 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day when they can work until 9:00 p.m.

 

14 and 15 year-olds cannot work:

  • More than 3 hours a day on school days.
  • More than 18 hours per week in school weeks.
  • More than 8 hours a day on non-school days.
  • More than 40 hours per week when school is not in session.

16 year-olds and older may work for any number of hours at any time of the day.

 

Proof of Age

 

 Colorado Law Federal Law 
  • Any employer desiring proof of the age of any minor employee or prospective employee may require the minor to submit an age certificate.
  • Upon request of a minor, an age certificate shall be issued by or under the authority of the school superintendent of the district or county in which the applicant resides.
Federal child labor laws do not require work permits.
 
References

Advisory Bulletin: Youth Employment Comparison of Colorado and Federal Laws, 5(III)
Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act

Websites

U.S. Department of Labor Youth and Labor
U.S. Department of Labor Youth Rules!
Fair Labor Standars Act

Quick Links

Fact Sheet: Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act
Youth Employment Law