Labor Occupational Health Program University of California, Berkeley 2001

Are You a Teen Working in Agriculture? Protect Your Health Know Your Rights 

Could I Get Hurt or Sick on the Job?

Every year over 100 teens die from agricultural work injuries in the United States. Another 2,000 get hurt badly enough that they stay home from
Here are the stories of three teens:

Why do injuries like these occur? Teens are often injured on the job due to unsafe work conditions. Also, they may not receive adequate safety
training and supervision.

What Are My Rights on the Job?

All farm workers have legal rights regardless of their immigration status.

Under California law, your employer must provide:

You also have a right to:

What Hazards Should I Watch Out For?

Type of Work Examples of Hazards - Example of Hazards

How Old Do I Have To Be To Work?

In California, you must be at least 12 years old to be hired as a farm worker. 

NOTE: Youth of any age may work at any time in any job on a farm owned or operated by their parents.

Is It OK To Do Any Kind of Farm Work?

NO! There are laws that protect teens under the age of 16 from working in certain jobs that have been identified as a hazardous
occupations or agricultural zones of danger.

In California no worker under 16 may:

Also, no one under 12 may accompany a family member to work near:

Are There Other Things I Can’t Do?

YES! There are many other restrictions regarding the type of work you can and cannot do. See What If I Need Help? on the next page.

Do I Need a Work Permit?

YES! Under California law, if you are under 18 and plan to work, you must get a work permit from your school (unless you have graduated).

What Are My Safety Responsibilities on the Job?

To work safely you should:

Should I Be Working This Late or This Long?

Child labor laws protect teens under the age of 18 from working too long, too late, or too early. This table shows the hours teens may work in
agriculture. (There are exceptions for students enrolled in an approved vocational training or apprenticeship program.)

What If I Need Help?

Work Hours for Teens

Ages 12 and 15 

Work Hours 

Maximum Hours When School Is in Session

18 hours a week, but not over:

Maximum Hours When School Is not in Session

Ages 16 and 17

Work Hours 

Maximum Hours When School Is in Session

48 hours a week, but not over:

Maximum Hours When School Is not in Session

*You have a right to speak up!*
It is illegal for your employer to fire or punish you for reporting a workplace problem.