Parents With Their Teenage Daughter

A summer job or part-time job is valuable work experience that can be a good opportunity for teens and young adults to learn responsibility. As a parent, you may have many questions and concerns about their safety and the laws surrounding youth employment.


Being mindful of what young workers may be permitted to do on the job may help keep them safe. Young workers may be prohibitied from working certain jobs or using machinery, tools, and equipment.

Both state and federal law provide guidance. These laws may not necessarily be the same. In circumstances where both laws apply the more stringent law is observed. To see if a minor is permitted to work it is advisable to check the following:

A minor is any person under the age of 18, except a person who has received a high school diploma or a passing score on the general educational development (GED) examination.

Work Permits / Age Certificates

Work permits are not required by Colorado law.

Any employer desiring proof of the age of any minor employee or prospective employee may require the minor to submit an age certificate. Age certificates are issued by or under the authority of the school superintendent of the district or county in which the applicant resides.

Work Hours

No employer shall be permitted to work a minor more than forty hours in a week or more than eight hours in any twenty-four-hour period.

School Day Restrictions

On school days, during school hours, no minor under the age of sixteen shall be permitted employment except as provided by a school release permit. After school hours no minor under the age of sixteen shall be permitted to work in excess of six hours unless the next day is not a school day. 

Any minor fourteen or fifteen years of age who wishes to work on school days during school hours shall first secure a school release permit. Such permit is issued only by the school district superintendent, his agent, or some other person designated by the board of education. 

Nighttime Restrictions

Except for babysitters, no minor under the age of sixteen shall be permitted to work between the hours of nine-thirty p.m. and five a.m., unless the next day is not a school day. An exception to this rule is a minor employed as an actor, model, or performer. 

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2019 Minimum Wage: $11.100

Tipped Employee Minimum Wage: $8.08