Site Search GO

About the Child Labor Section

The Child Labor Section enforces the Child Labor Act and investigates possible violations concerning minors. This section issues and monitors work permits and age certificates issued by the schools to assure compliance. In addition, the section is responsible for notifying school officials of applicable laws and making presentations to students and employers. The Child Labor Section continues to work in partnership with the USDOL to expand the leverage of its enforcement and education initiatives. Education serves to promote voluntary compliance by informing employers, educators, young workers, and their parents about the child labor laws so that they may make informed decisions about when and where young workers should work.

Rules, Regulations, & Statutes

New Mexico State Statutes - http://public.nmcompcomm.us/nmnxtadmin/NMPublic.aspx

  1. Click on the "Statutes, Rules and Const." folder
  2. Click on the "NMSA (Unannotated)" folder
  3. Click on chapter "50. Employment Law"
  4. Click on Article 6 "Employment of Children"

New Mexico State Regulations - http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/

  1. Click on "Browse Compilation"
  2. Click on Title 11 "Labor and Workers' Compensation"
  3. Click on Chapter 1 "Labor General Provisions"
  4. Click on 11.1.4 "Wage and Hour and Employment of Children"

Employment of Children In The Entertainment Industry

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions enforces rules for employing and protecting child performers in the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, theatrical, radio, and television productions. The rules require employers to follow educational and safety requirements stated in rules NMAC and the statutes 50-6-1 to 50-6-19 NMSA 1978 Comp.

The employer is responsible for obtaining a Pre-Authorization Certificate for any child performer under the age of 18 BEFORE the employment begins. The certificate is valid for one year or until the specific project is completed, whichever time period is shorter. For more information please refer to the "Child Employment Entertainment Law" brochure located under "Additional Resources" on the top left-hand side of this page.


Frequently Asked Child Labor Law Questions

State and federal laws have set 14 as the minimum age for employment. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs); and perform babysitting or perform minor chores around private home.

In accordance with the New Mexico rules, employers hiring children to work in the entertainment industry (radio, television, movies or theatrical) need to obtain a pre-authorization certificate PRIOR TO THE CHILDS FIRST DAY OF WORK.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural employment is 14. Hours worked by 14- and 15-year-olds are limited to:

  • Non-school hours;
  • 3 hours in a school day;
  • 18 hours in a school week;
  • 8 hours on a non-school day;
  • 40 hours on a non-school week; and
  • Hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (except from June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.)

Youth 14 and 15 years old enrolled in an approved Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP) may be employed for up to 23 hours in school weeks and 3 hours on school days (including during school hours).
The FLSA does not limit the number of hours or times of day for workers 16 years and older.

The state minimum wage is $7.50. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Some cities also have minimum rates like Albuquerque ($8.50) and Santa Fe ($10.51). However, federal law has established a special minimum wage of $4.25 per hour that would apply to employees under the age of 20 during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer. After 90 days, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay the full federal minimum wage.

Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to workers with disabilities, full-time students, and student-learners employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates. These programs are not limited to the employment of young workers. Sub-minimum wage certificates are obtained through the USDOL.

The student must show proof of age at the time of issuance. Examples of proof of age include but are not limited to: birth certificate, BIA records, passport, and government issued identification. The issuing officer must also verify that the type of work to be performed is not dangerous to the child or injurious to the child’s health or morals.

Yes, there are prohibited occupations for minors ages 14 and 15, and there are hazardous occupations for minors age 16 and 17.

FLSA - Prohibited occupations for minors ages 14 and 15
Occupations involving mining, manufacturing, processing including laundry and dry cleaning, duties is workrooms, public messenger service, hoisting apparatus' or any power driven machinery, power driven mowers/cutters, the use of auto pits, racks lifting apparatus.' Occupations in connection with transportation or persons or property, warehousing/storage, communications, public utilities, and construction. Occupations in retail food and gas service establishments; work in boiler/engine rooms, maintenance/repair of machines and equipment, outside window washing, cooking and baking, operating, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling or repairing power-driven food slicers, grinders choppers and mixers, work in freezers/coolers, loading and unloading goods.

FLSA - Hazardous occupations for minors age 16 and 17
Occupations involving or in connection with; explosives, motor-vehicle drivers, mining, logging including sawmill, power-driven wood working machinery, radioactive substances, hoisting apparatus’, elevators, cranes derricks, hoists, and high lift trucks, metal forming/punching/shearing machines, slaughtering/meat packing, power driven bakery machines, paper product machines, manufacture of brick, tile and kindred products, circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears, wreaking, demolition, and ship breaking, roofing occupations and excavation operations.

State Law prohibits the following for under the age of 16:

  • Around belted machines while in motion
  • Power driven wood working machines
  • Around plants or establishments containing explosive components
  • Around plants or establishments where malt or alcoholic beverages are manufactured, packed, wrapped or stored
  • Around electrical hazards
  • Municipal firefighting
  • In any employment dangerous to lives and limbs or injurious to the health or morals of children
  • Door to door sales – except for non-profit activities with the parent’s approval.

State Law prohibits the following for under the age of 18:
Children under the age of 18 may NOT be employed in any quarry or mine underground or at or about any place where explosives are used. 


Contact Information

Santa Fe Map

1596 Pacheco Street, Room 103
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Phone 505-827-6817 or 505-827-0091
Fax: 505-827-6875 or 505-827-9676