April 22, 2020

In addition to all of the employment-related COVID issues that receive a lot of press, there are also some lesser-known issues to consider. A few are described here. We continue to bring similar issues to your attention.

Employment of Minors

The Maine DOL reminded us that even though schools are not open right now and probably will not be through the remainder of the school year, the work rules pertaining to minors still apply. School is still considered to be in session.

A summary of the rules applying to work by minors:

Minors Under 16

A work permit is required, even if working in a parent-owned business.

  • Work Hours (may work)
    • Between 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. during the school year
    • Between 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. during summer vacations
    • Not during school hours
  • Maximum Hours (may work)
    • 3 hours a day on school days, including Fridays
    • 18 hours in any week during a school week
    • 40 hours in a week with no school
    • 8 hours on days without school
      • During weekends, holidays, vacations, storm days, etc.
    • No more than 6 days in a row

16-17-Year Olds Enrolled in School, Including Homeschool:

  • Work Hours (may work)
    • After 7 a.m. on a school day
    • After 5 a.m. on a non-school day
    • Until 10:15 p.m. on a day before a school day
    • Until midnight if no school the next day
    • Minors under 17 may not work during school hours
  • Maximum Hours (may work)
    • 6 hours on a school day
    • 8 hours on the last school day of the week
      • There are some exceptions for:
        • Co-op work-study students
        • Those with an alternative education plan with a work component
    • 10 hours a day on weekends, holidays, vacations, teacher workshops
    • 24 hours a week in any week with 3 or more school days.
    • 50 hours a week each week there are less than 3 scheduled school days or during 1st and last week of the school year.
    • May not work more than 6 days in a row.


Students enrolled in an approved alternative education plan or an approved cooperative vocational education program can work the daily or weekly hours required for the program without those hours counting toward the regular maximums allowed.

For example, a 17-year-old student could work 15 hours under a cooperative vocational education plan. Plus, they could work the 24 hours the law normally allows for minors under 18. The DOL also reminds us that minors cannot work in occupations considered hazardous by the Maine Department of Labor and or U.S. Department of Labor.

State of Maine Work Permit

This information is accurate as of April 22, 2020. It is subject to change based on any new legislation.


Anne-Marie L. Storey, Attorney at Law, Rudman Winchell
Anne-Marie Storey, Esq
Rudman Winchell


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