Below is a summary of the state and federal child labor laws most relevant to students enrolled in Massachusetts Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs. As all co-op students must be at least 16 years of age, laws related to teens under 16 are not included in the summary below.
Prohibited Jobs for Minors
Persons under 18 mayNOT:
(student learner exemptions are starred* and highlighted in red)
Drive a vehicle, forklift, or work assist vehicle (except golf carts in certain circumstances)
After 8 pm, all minors must be directly supervised by an adult who is located in the workplace and who is reasonably accessible (with the exception of minors who work at kiosks in the common areas of some malls).
All teens under 18 must obtain a work permit from the school district where they live or go to school. For more information, visit the website of the Division of Occupational Safety at: www.mass.gov/dos/youth.
In place of the standard work permit, a special Cooperative Education Employment Permit must be obtained by all minors who will be employed in cooperative education. These permits are issued by the superintendent of the school district where the minor is enrolled in a Chapter 74 program.
* For all child labor law exemptions for student-learners, the work shall be incidental to his or her training, shall be intermittent and for short periods of time, shall be under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person, and shall include safety instruction by the employer as part of the training.