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State Prohibited Occupations

Under 18 Years of Age
Under 16 Years of Age
Female Employment after Childbirth

Under 18 Years of Age

No one under the age of 18 may work or assist in any occupation:

  • At construction work, including wrecking, demolition, roofing, or excavating operations and the painting or exterior cleaning of a building structure from an elevated surface
  • Involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears
  • In or about a slaughtering and meat-packing establishment, or rendering plant
  • Involving the operation of power-driven woodworking, metal-forming, metal-punching, metal-shearing, bakery and paper products machines
  • Involving the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus
  • Involving the manufacture of brick, tile, and like products
  • Involving exposure to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation, or exposure to silica or other harmful dust
  • Like logging occupations and occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage-stock mill
  • In mining or in connection with a mine or quarry
  • As a helper on a motor vehicle
  • In the care or operation of a freight or passenger elevator, except that minor over 16 may operate automatic, push-button control elevators
  • In manufacturing, packing, or storing of explosives, or in the use or delivery of explosives
  • Operating or using any emery, tripoli, rouge, corundum, stone, silicon carbide, or any abrasive, or emery polishing or buffing wheel, where articles of the baser metals or iridium are manufactured
  • Adjusting belts to machinery or cleaning, oiling, or wiping machinery
  • Packing paints, dry colors, or red or white leads
  • Preparing any composition in which dangerous or poisonous acids are used
  • Operating steam boilers subject to section 204 of the Labor Law
  • In penal or correctional institutions, if the job relates to the custody or care of prisoners or inmates

These rules do not apply to:

  • Workers younger than 18 who are apprentices individually registered in DOL registered apprenticeship programs 
  • Student-learners enrolled in recognized cooperative vocational training programs,
  • Trainees in approved on-the-job training programs
  • Workers 16 or 17 years old who have completed training as a student learner or trainee in an approved on-the-job training program
  • Workers 16 or 17 years old who have completed a training program given by a public school or a non-profit institution that includes DOL approved safety instruction

There are regulations governing the approval of these safety instructions.

Under 16 Years of Age

State regulations also forbid minor under 16 from working at or assisting in:

  • Any factory work, except in delivery and clerical employment in an enclosed office of a factory or in dry cleaning stores, shoe repair shops, and similar service stores

  • - Federal law requires that any delivery work for retail stores, which is performed by 14 and 15 year olds be made on foot, by bicycle, or via bus.  It also forbids them from working in a place where processing (such as laundering or dry cleaning) takes place
  • Operating or assisting in operating any machinery unless all moving parts other than keys, levers, or handles are so guarded as to prevent any part of the person or clothing for the operator from touching them
  • Painting or exterior cleaning in connection with the maintenance of a building or structure
  • Operating washing, grinding, cutting, slicing, pressing, or mixing machinery
  • Work at institutions in the Department of Mental Health

  • - However, volunteers as young as 14 may participate in recreation and leisure activities, social skills development, companionship and/or entertainment as part of an organized volunteer program approved by the Commissioner of Mental Health.
  • Industrial homework
  • Places of entertainment as a rope or wirewalker or gymnast, unless protected by the use of safety devices or protective equipment that comply with the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Peddling; drug traffic; or any practice, exhibition, or place dangerous or injurious to life, limb, or morals.
  • Dangerous farm jobs

  • - New York State recently adopted rules about dangerous farm jobs for 14 and 15 year-olds.  You can get a list of these jobs from our web site ;or contact The Division of Labor Standards for further information. The list is Sub-part 190-9 of the Minimum Wage Order for Farm Workers.

Female Employment After Childbirth:

No female can work in a factory or a store within four weeks after childbirth, unless she gives her employer:

  • A letter saying she wants to work and
  • A note from a doctor that she is able to work

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