The Wage and Child Labor Unit (WCLU) of the Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing protects Iowa’s children from certain hazards and from being overworked. The extent of these protections are dependent upon the age of the child. 

  • WCLU investigates all injury claims and concerns of minors employment activities in Iowa. 
  • Investigations can result in warning letters and monetary penalties to employers. 
  • WCLU provides guidance in understanding how all Iowans comply with Iowa's child labor laws. 
  • WCLU strives to ensure compliance and the safety of all minor employees through presentations and open communication. 

Child Labor Laws  are found in Iowa Code Chapter 92.

Child Labor Basics

  • A minor must be fourteen years of age to be employed. Some exceptions are allowed. 
  • All minor employees are prohibited doing certain dangerous tasks or to be employed in dangerous occupations. 
 

Iowa Law 

U.S. Department of Labor 

School In Session

Labor Day 
through June 1






 

Working Hours:

  • 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Shift Length:

  • Six hours on
    school days

  • Eight hours 
    on weekends

Work Week

  • Maximum 
    28 hours 

Working Hours:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Shift Length:

  • Three hours 
    on school days 
    (including Friday)

Work Week

  • Maximum 
    18 hours
     

School Not 
In Session

June 1 through
Labor Day




 

Working Hours:

  • 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Shift Length:

  • Eight hours 
    per day

Work Week

  • Maximum 
    40 hours 

Working Hours:

  • 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Shift Length:

  • Eight hours 
    per day

Work Week

  • Maximum 
    40 hours

Iowa Law states a half-hour break is REQUIRED for employees aged 14- and 15-years-old when their shift is five hours or longer. It may be paid or unpaid. 

  • Hiring Iowa Teens Fact Sheet 

Federal Child Labor Laws

Employers are generally subject to both state child labor laws and the federal child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When there are differences between state and federal child labor laws, employers covered by both Iowa law and the FLSA must follow the most protective provisions that apply to their employees. 

Additional resources for employers:

Orders & Waivers