TITLE XXIII
LABOR

Chapter 276-A
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT LAW

Section 276-A:1

    276-A:1 Statement of Policy. – The legislature of the state of New Hampshire declares that it is the policy of the state to foster the employment of young people while, at the same time, providing the necessary safeguards made necessary by their age.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Section 276-A:2

    276-A:2 Title. – This chapter shall be entitled the "Youth Employment Law".

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Section 276-A:3

    276-A:3 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter:
I. The term "certificate" shall mean youth employment certificate.
II. The term "youth" shall mean any person under 18 years of age.
III. The term "commissioner" shall mean the labor commissioner.
IV. The term "department" shall mean the labor department.
V. The term "hazardous occupation" shall mean employment so determined by the Children's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor pursuant to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or on determination by the commissioner after all parties have been given an opportunity to be heard thereon.
VI. The term "investigator" shall mean personnel of the department who are authorized to enforce labor laws.
VII. The term "casual work" shall mean employment which is infrequent or of brief duration or productive of little or sporadic income or not commonly held to establish an employer-employee relationship.
VIII. The term "regulation" shall mean the body of administrative rules promulgated by the commissioner, setting forth procedures and prescribing forms by which to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Section 276-A:4

    276-A:4 Prohibitions. –
I. No youth shall be employed or permitted to work in any hazardous occupation, except in an apprenticeship, vocational rehabilitation, or training program approved by the commissioner.
II. No youth under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work without a certificate except:
(a) For his or her parents, grandparents, or guardian;
(b) At work defined in this chapter as casual; or
(c) As farm labor.
III. No youth under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in a dangerous area in manufacturing, construction, and mining and quarrying occupations, or in woods and logging.
IV. No youth under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work earlier than 7 o'clock a.m. or later than 9 o'clock p.m., more than 3 hours per day on school days and 23 hours per week during school weeks, except that on nonschool days he may be employed 8 hours per day and, during vacations, 48 hours per week. Upon application by an employer who employs a youth under 16 years of age in agricultural work, the commissioner of labor may order that the restriction upon hours of work imposed by this paragraph be suspended.
V. No youth under 12 years of age may be employed or permitted to work except for his parents, grandparents, or guardian, or at work defined in this chapter as casual, or in the door-to-door delivery of newspapers.
VI. (a) In any employer's predetermined designated work week during which school is in session for 5 days, no youth 16 or 17 years of age who is duly enrolled in school shall work more than 6 consecutive days or more than 30 hours during that work week.
(b) In any employer's predetermined designated work week during which school is in session for 4 days, no youth 16 or 17 years of age who is duly enrolled in school shall work more than 6 consecutive days or more than 40-1/4hours in that work week.
(c) In any employer's predetermined designated work week during which school is in session for more than one but less than 4 days, no youth 16 or 17 years of age who is duly enrolled in school shall work more than 6 consecutive days or more than 48 hours in that work week.
VII. No youth 16 or 17 years of age who is duly enrolled in school shall work for more than 6 consecutive days or 48 hours in any one week during school vacations, including summer vacation. For purposes of this paragraph, "summer vacation" means June 1 through Labor Day. This prohibition shall not apply to youths 16 or 17 years of age who reside and work at a summer camp for minors.
VIII. No youth 16 or 17 years of age, except a youth 16 or 17 years of age who has graduated from high school or obtained a general equivalency diploma, shall be employed by an employer unless the employer obtains and maintains on file a signed written document from the youth's parent or legal guardian permitting the youth's employment.

Source. 1969, 243:1. 1971, 412:1, 2. 1988, 274:9. 1989, 385:1, 2. 1997, 300:1. 1998, 189:1, 2. 2007, 68:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2008. 2016, 219:6, eff. June 9, 2016. 2018, 312:6, eff. June 25, 2018.

Section 276-A:5

    276-A:5 Certificate. –
I. Certificates shall be issued by principals of schools or persons authorized by them, or by a parent or legal guardian, only after the determination of a satisfactory level of academic performance by the student. Responsibility for supervision and coordination with the department in matters pertaining to this chapter shall rest upon superintendents of schools when the certificate is issued by a principal, and shall rest with a parent or legal guardian when such parent or legal guardian authorizes the issuance of the certificate. If a student does not continue to meet a satisfactory level of academic performance after the issuance of the certificate, the principals of schools or persons authorized by them, or a parent or legal guardian, may revoke the certificate. In the event principals of schools or their designees revoke a certificate, notification of the revocation shall be made to the parent or legal guardian, the employer of the student, and the department of labor within 48 hours. In the event a parent or legal guardian revokes a certificate, notification of the revocation shall be made to the employer of the student and the department of labor within 48 hours. Upon receiving the notice of revocation, the department of labor shall investigate the compliance of the revocation within 90 days.
II. Certificates shall in all cases include a signature line for the parent or legal guardian of the youth and shall show proof of (1) age and (2) adequate health.
III. Certificates shall not be issued unless age and adequacy of health have first been verified except as in paragraph I of this section.
IV. Certificates shall be obtained by an employer within 3 business days of the first day of employment. Copies of certificates shall be kept on file by all employers of youths.
V. Any employer not in compliance with the requirements of RSA 276-A:4 or this section shall be assessed a minimum civil penalty of $100.

Source. 1969, 243:1. 1989, 385:3, 4. 1997, 124:1. 1998, 189:3. 2007, 68:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2008. 2016, 314:1, eff. Aug. 23, 2016.

Section 276-A:6

    276-A:6 Enforcement. – The commissioner shall have the responsibility for enforcing the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969. 2018, 312:7, eff. June 25, 2018.

Section 276-A:7

    276-A:7 Penalties. – Whoever employs a youth or permits him to work in violation of the provisions of RSA 276-A, or any parent, grandparent, or guardian who allows his child or ward to be so employed or to work, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1969, 243:1. 1973, 528:171, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Section 276-A:7-a

    276-A:7-a Civil Penalties. – In addition to other penalties and remedies imposed under this chapter, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty on an employer not to exceed $2,500 for each violation of any provision of this chapter or rule adopted pursuant to this chapter, which shall be deposited into the department of labor restricted fund established in RSA 273:1-b. In assessing this penalty, the commissioner shall consider the nature of the violation, the employer's history of violations, and the employer's good faith.

Source. 1989, 385:5. 2007, 68:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2008. 2011, 224:60, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 276-A:8

    276-A:8 Powers of Commissioner. – The commissioner shall promulgate whatever regulations he deems necessary for the administration of this chapter, except that such regulations shall not be inconsistent with any of its provisions. He shall prosecute violations and charge the proper county for the cost of the proceedings.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Section 276-A:9

    276-A:9 Limitations. – No prosecution pursuant to this chapter shall be undertaken later than one year after the violation has been committed.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Section 276-A:10

    276-A:10 Inconsistent Provisions. – All prior provisions of law which are inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter shall be held ineffective to the extent of such inconsistency.

Source. 1969, 243:1, eff. Aug. 12, 1969.

Hours of Labor

Section 276-A:11

    276-A:11 Certain Labor. – In addition to the prohibitions listed in RSA 276-A:4, III, IV, V, VI, and VII no youth shall be employed or permitted to work at manual or mechanical labor in any manufacturing establishment more than 10 hours in any one day, or more than 48 hours in any one week. No youth shall be employed or be permitted to work at manual or mechanical labor in any other employment, except household labor and nursing, domestic, hotel and cabin including dining and restaurant service operated in connection with such service, and boarding house labor, operating in telegraph and telephone offices and farm labor, or canning of perishable vegetables and fruit, or as a laboratory technician, more than 10-1/4 hours in any one day, or more than 54 hours in any one week.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989; 385:6, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 276-A:12

    276-A:12 Several Employments. – Where a youth is employed in the same day or week by more than one employer in manual or mechanical labor in any employment not included under RSA 276-A:11, the total time of employment shall not exceed that allowed per day or week in a single employment.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:13

    276-A:13 Night Work. – No youth who works more than 2 nights in a week past 8 o'clock p.m. or before 6 o'clock a.m. shall be permitted to work more than 8 hours in any shift during that particular week.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989. 2019, 22:1, eff. July 14, 2019.

Section 276-A:14

    276-A:14 Special Agreement. – By mutual agreement between employer and employees, the provisions of RSA 276-A:13 relative to restrictions on night work for youths may be relaxed, if the agreement is approved by the commissioner.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:15

    276-A:15 Exceptions. – Regular employees of mercantile establishments shall not be affected by this subdivision for the period of 7 days immediately preceding Christmas day in each year; but the total number of hours of labor for any youth regularly employed in such establishment shall not exceed 54 hours a week for the full year.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:16

    276-A:16 Special License. – Manufacturing establishments may be granted a special license by the labor commissioner excepting them from RSA 276-A:11 and 12 for not over 8 weeks in any 6-month period, but in no case shall the hours of labor exceed 10-1/4 hours in any one day or 54 hours in any one week. Before granting such license, a hearing shall be held by the commissioner and he shall be satisfied that such overtime is necessary. A copy of such license shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every room where youths are employed.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:17

    276-A:17 Extra Time on Special License. – Manufacturing establishments working on government orders for national defense may be granted a special license for a period in excess of 8 weeks in a 6-month period at the discretion of the commissioner.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:18

    276-A:18 Laundry Establishments. – Laundries may be granted a special license by the commissioner excepting them from RSA 276-A:11 and 12 for not over 3 months of the year, but in no case shall the hours of labor exceed 60 hours in any one week, nor more than 10-1/4 hours during any one day. Before granting such license, a hearing shall be held by the commissioner and he shall be satisfied that such overtime is necessary. A copy of such license shall be posted where youths are employed. This section shall not be applied in any way to the disadvantage of any regular employee.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:19

    276-A:19 War. – The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to labor performed entirely in the manufacture of munitions or supplies for the United States government, or for the government of the state, while the United States is at war with any other nation.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:20

    276-A:20 Notice of Hours. – Every employer shall post and make available to all employed youths a notice stating the hours of work, the time allowed for dinner or other meals, and the maximum number of hours any youth is permitted to work in any one day.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989. 2018, 312:8, eff. June 25, 2018.

Section 276-A:21

    276-A:21 Additional Prohibitions. – The prohibitions under this subdivision shall be in addition to those prohibitions listed in RSA 276-A:4, III, IV, V and VI.

Source. 1989, 53:1, eff. June 18, 1989.

Section 276-A:22

    276-A:22 Repealed by 2018, 312:10, eff. June 25, 2018. –

Youth Training and Employment in Firefighting

Section 276-A:23

    276-A:23 Limitations on Youth Training and Employment. –
I. Except when enrolled in an explorer program approved by the New Hampshire department of labor under rules adopted by the commissioner, no youth under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in firefighting.
II. Fire organizations shall follow the requirements of this subdivision and federal orders regulating youth employment in hazardous occupations, as referenced in rules adopted by the commissioner, when any youth is employed or permitted to work in support of firefighting at all times and in all places.
III. The supervising person responsible for following the requirements of this subdivision shall be the chief authority of the fire organization or his or her designee.
IV. Youths shall not be employed at any task or duty in support of firefighting prior to completing training pursuant to RSA 276-A:24, I.
V. Fire organizations shall follow the requirements of RSA 276-A:4, VIII and RSA 276-A:24 and rules adopted by the commissioner when employing or permitting 16 or 17 year old youths to work in support of firefighting.

Source. 2008, 157:1, eff. June 6, 2008.

Section 276-A:24

    276-A:24 Minimum Training Requirements. –
I. Youths shall successfully complete an initial course of basic wild land fire training as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association and as offered by the department of natural and cultural resources, division of forest and lands, along with training on the use of communications equipment and fire extinguishers.
II. Upon the successful completion of the training requirements under paragraph I, the youth shall complete the fire standards and training firefighter level 1 course in accordance with rules adopted by the department of safety.
III. Initial training shall qualify a youth to perform non-hazardous firefighting duties such as scouting on the ground, fire line construction, mopping up, and permitted use of non-motorized equipment such as back pack pumps, hand tools, hoses, and radio equipment. This training shall not qualify a youth to perform hazardous duties, including operation of motorized equipment such as motor vehicles, bulldozers, tractors and pumps, or serving as a traffic director.

Source. 2008, 157:1, eff. June 6, 2008. 2017, 156:14, I, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 276-A:25

    276-A:25 Advanced Training. – For so long as a youth remains by age subject to this subdivision, advanced training shall be the firefighter level 1 training program as administered by the fire standards and training commission. Youths who have completed this course with at least 70 percent in practical and academic testing shall be certified by the commission as junior firefighters.

Source. 2008, 157:1, eff. June 6, 2008.

Section 276-A:26

    276-A:26 Identification Card. – A youth employed in support of firefighting shall carry an identification card, signifying completion of training with at least 70 percent in practical and academic testing, and signed by the chief authority within the fire organization.

Source. 2008, 157:1, eff. June 6, 2008.