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School of Public Health
Rutgers logo
School of Public Health


Employee Tips and Limitations


  • All prospective workers under the age of 18 must have an employment certificate or working papers for each and every establishment they are working at.
  • You can get these at your school or
  • Know what you legally may and may not do.
  • Know when you legally may and may not work.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Politely say "no" when asked to do something not allowed or something you do not feel you can safely do.


No worker under the age of 18 may:

  • Clean or operate mixing machines, compactors (like trash compactors), or slicing machines.
  • Drive a motor vehicle on public streets as part of job (except at age 17, in limited circumstances).
  • Drive a forklift or heavy machinery.
  • Use power equipment.
  • Work in construction (wrecking, demolition, excavation, or roofing).
  • Work in logging or saw mill.
  • Handle, serve, or sell alcohol.
  • Work anywhere with toxic materials or radiation exposure.


If you are 14 or 15 you may not:

  • Do any baking or cooking activities.
  • Operate power driven machinery.
  • Work in an establishment covered by a liquor license.
  • Work in dry cleaning or commercial laundry.
  • Do building, construction or manufacturing work.
  • Load or unload trucks, railroad cars, or conveyors.
  • Work on a ladder or scaffold.


Please note age 14 is the minimum for most employment opportunities, except informal jobs like babysitting or yard work.