Child Labor

COVID-19 Updates

The Iowa Division of Labor protects Iowa's children from certain hazards and from being overworked. The extent of these protections, found in Iowa Code chapter 92 and its rules, depends upon the age of the child.

New Child Labor Exceptions 

In 2019 the Iowa legislature amended the child labor chapter to include additional “exceptions” from its requirements. Beginning July 1, the following are generally not required to comply with Iowa child labor law:

  • Volunteer work for a charitable or public purpose.
  • Referees twelve years of age or older working for a charitable organization, a unit of government, or an organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.
  • The Iowa Summer Youth Corps Program.
  • Any recognized program of the Iowa National Service Corps for children over fourteen.

These do not require a permit and do not have hours restrictions. However, the kinds of permissible tasks are still limited by the hazardous/prohibited occupation restrictions in section 92.8.

Children 16 and 17 years old are prohibited from doing certain dangerous tasks and from certain dangerous occupations.

Children 14 and 15 years old have additional restrictions, there are limits on the time and hours they can work, and must have a permit. The Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions has details on filling out a work permit.

For information on federal child labor law, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, in Des Moines at 515-284-4625. Employers are subject to both state and federal child labor laws and, when there are differences, must follow the law that gives the most protection.

A child labor work permit is not a driving permit. If a driving permit or license is needed, contact the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Quick Links

Contact the Child Labor Staff
Iowa Child Labor Permit
Iowa Child Labor Permit Instructions
General Order Employment of Minors at the Iowa State Fair
Special Order Requirements
Physician's Certification of Minor's Age
Child Labor Iowa Code and Administrative Rules
Child Labor "Vice" Jobs: Liquor, Tobacco and Gambling 
Teen Summer Jobs: Safety Pays
Open Records Requests