Texas Employment of Minors

From: Wages & Hours

Texas Employment of Minors

Child Labor

Texas’ child labor law is located at Tex. Labor Code §§ 51.001 – 51.046. The law applies to all employers. As used in the law, the term child means an individual under 18 years of age.


The Texas child labor law does not apply to any of the following:

  • Newspaper carriers – A child 11 years or older engaged in the delivery of newspapers to the consumer or a child age 16 years or older engaged in the direct sale of newspapers to the general public.
  • Rehabilitation programs – A child employed through a rehabilitation program supervised by a county judge.
  • Casual employment – A child engaged in nonhazardous casual employment that will not endanger the safety, health, or well-being of the child and to which the parent or adult having custody of the child has consented.
  • Work-study programs – A child participating in a school-supervised and school-administered work-study program approved by the Texas Workforce Commission.
  • Agricultural labor – A child employed in agriculture during a period when the child is not legally required to be attending school. The phrase employed in agriculturemeans engaged in producing crops or livestock and includes all of the following:
    • Cultivating and tilling soil.
    • Producing, cultivating, growing, and harvesting an agricultural or horticultural commodity.
    • Dairying.
    • Raising livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals, or poultry.
  • Employment by parent – A child in a nonhazardous occupation, under the direct supervision of the child’s parent or an adult having custody of the child, and in a business or enterprise owned or operated by the parent or custodian.

Prohibited Employment

Minors under 14 may not be employed in a hazardous occupation unless otherwise specified in the state’s child labor law. The Texas Workforce Commission declares an occupation to be hazardous if the occupation has been declared hazardous by an agency of the federal government, and the commission determines that the occupation is particularly hazardous for minors.

An occupation that involves the operation of a motor vehicle by a minor for commercial purpose is not a hazardous occupation if the following conditions are met:

  • The minor has a driver’s license.
  • The minor is not required to obtain a commercial driver’s license for employment.
  • The minor performs the duties of the occupation under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian and for a business owned and operated by the child’s parent or guardian.
  • The minor operates a vehicle that has no more than two axles and does not exceed a gross vehicle weight rating of 15,000 pounds.


Minors under 14 may not be employed as performers under the following conditions:

  • If the minor is required to use a dressing room that is simultaneously occupied by persons of the opposite sex.
  • If the minor is not provided with a nursery or suitable place to rest or play.
  • If the minor is sent to wardrobe, makeup, or hairdressing without the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • If the parent or guardian is prevented from being present at the place of employment while the minor is working.
  • If the parent or guardian is prevented from being within sight and sound of the child at any time during employment.


Minors may not be employed to solicit, unless all of the following conditions are met:

  • Employers obtain signed consent from a parent or guardian on a form approved by the Texas Workforce Commission at least seven days before the child begins employment.
  • Employers provide a parent or guardian a map of the route that the child will follow during each solicitation trip and the name of each individual who will be supervising each trip.
  • Employers provide at least one adult supervisor for every three minors at each solicitation location.
  • Employers limit each trip to no later than 7 p.m. on school nights and between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on all other days.

Alcoholic Beverages

Minors under 18 may not sell, prepare, serve, or otherwise handle or help handle liquor.

Hours of Employment

Minors 14 or 15 may not work more than 8 hours in one day or 48 hours in one week. Minors may not work between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on a day that is followed by a school day or between midnight and 5 a.m. on any other day. Minors 14 or 15 who are not enrolled in summer school may not work between midnight and 5 a.m. on any day during the summer break.

These restrictions do not apply if the Texas Workforce Commission determines that a hardship exists for the minor.

Employment Certificates

Minors 14 and older may apply to the Texas Workforce Commission for a certificate of age that states the date of birth of the minor. The commission will issue a certificate of age after approval of the application and documentary proof of age.

This certificate is required for any child between the ages of 14 and 18 to work, unless employed directly by a parent or guardian.

Posting Requirements

Although not required, Texas employers employing minors should conspicuously post and maintain the Texas Child Labor Law poster.


The Texas Workforce Commission enforces Texas’ child labor law. The commission or a designated agent may inspect and collect information at any establishment where a minor is employed or has been employed within the last two years.


A violation of Texas’ child labor law is a Class B misdemeanor. Employers that violate the solicitation provisions of the state’s child labor law commit a Class A misdemeanor.

A person commits a felony of the second degree by employing a minor to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance. A person commits a felony of the third degree by producing, directing, or promoting a performance that includes sexual conduct by a minor under 18.

The Texas Workforce Commission may determine that a person is in violation of the state’s child labor law and may assess an administrative penalty of a maximum of $10,000. Employers that have been charged with a violation have a right to a hearing on the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both. Employers have a right to judicial review of a commission order.

Employers that fail to obey a Texas Workforce Commission subpoena to attend and testify, answer a lawful inquiry, or produce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, or other records may be fined a minimum of $200, be confined for a maximum of 60 days, or both.

Each day of a violation constitutes a separate offense.

Contact Information

Texas Workforce Commission