Child Labor Laws in Illinois
Illinois, like most states and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, limits what types of jobs minors can do, when they can work and requires work permitting. Illinois minor labor rules address wage-and-hour issues.
All minors under age 16 in Illinois must obtain both work permission permits and physical fitness to work certificates. This includes minors involved in modeling, acting or other entertainment performance work.
In addition to the FLSA prohibited and hazardous work designations, Illinois has 26 jobs that are considered too hazardous for minors to perform.
A special state training minimum wage (available unless another law covering the minor provides a higher rate) is allowed for minors under age 18. This rate is $8 per hour as of January 1, 2020.
Further, once any worker under age 18 works at least 650 hours during an employment year, their employer must pay them the adult state minimum wage moving forward. An employment year is calculated as 12 calendar months from date of hire. It is not a straight calendar year.
For minors working as performers in artistic or otherwise rendering creative services, Illinois child labor law requires a trust fund to be established and a minimum of 15% of their gross earnings be deposited into that trust fund.
Exceptions to minor work restrictions in Illinois exist for some specific occupations. These include agriculture work for parents on the family-owned farm (age 12 and up), work in-home outside school hours and non-business related, golf caddies (over age 13), and sports official work in some cases (12- and 13-year-olds).
Minors are restricted from working during school hours (although some government-sponsored work programs are exempted) and may not do any work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. except for school summer break. During the school summer break of June 1 to Labor Day, minors may work as late as 9 p.m.
When working, minors must be given at least a 30-minute break for a meal period no later than five hours into their shift.