Youth Employment in the Automotive Industry

Employing youth is necessary in today’s employment environment. It is a great opportunity for the youth and the employer. But it is fraught with challenges and potential for Department of Labor penalties which can be significant.

Employers must enter the realm of youth employment fully aware of what documentation is necessary at the time of hire, what job duties are permissible and what hours are permissible for different age groups. We have tried to outline as specifically as possible what Members need to know when hiring youth in the automotive industry.  

Shops still need to train and closely supervise youth employees.

Please make sure that every employee, particularly youths, are properly trained and supervised on all equipment prior to use and are required to wear safety glasses and appropriate PPE. Please ensure that youths understand what to do in the event of an injury. Please remember that youths must be drug tested before they begin work. Please note that the youth applicant as well as a parent or guardian must sign the pre-placement drug testing and consent form.

Teenagers and young adults often have limited work experience and may not understand what is appropriate or “normal” behavior in the workplace. As such, young workers may be more susceptible or vulnerable to sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and may not understand how to report such conduct. Employers should consider taking special care to train young employees on company policies and reporting procedures for discrimination and harassment upon hire. By encouraging young employees to come forward and report any problems as they arise, employers will have the opportunity to take appropriate action before the situation grows worse.( Advice from employment lawyer Margaret O’Brien at McLane Middleton Law Offices)

Applicable Laws and Rules RSA 276-A and NH rules LAB 1000 set forth the requirements for youth employment in NH. LAB 1000 incorporates certain federal standards as set by the US Department of Labor (USDOL).

16- and 17-year-old: Parental Permission Form (must be on file prior to the 16/17-year-old performing work) (RSA 276-A:4(VIII))

14- and 15-year-old: Employer Request for Child Labor/Youth Employment Certification (must be on file within 3 business days of first day of employment) (RSA 276-A:5(IV))

Youth Driving

A 16-year-old may not drive for work.

17-year-olds who are employed in the automobile service facilities are permitted to drive when the following standards/restrictions are met:

  • The motor vehicle does not exceed 6000 pounds gross vehicle weight;
  • Driving occurs during daylight hours;
  • The 17-year-old has a state license valid for the type of driving involved in the job performed;
  • The 17-year-old has completed a state-approved driver education course, with no record of moving violations at the time of hire;
  • Driving takes place within a 30-mile radius of the 17-year-old's place of employment;
  • The vehicle is equipped with a seat belt for the driver and any passengers, and the employer has given instruction to the 17-year-old that the seat belts must be used when driving;
  • The driving is only occasional and incidental to the 17-year-old's employment. Occasional and incidental is defined by CLB No 101 and HO #2 as no more than one-third of the 17-year-old's work time in any workday, and no more than 20 percent of the 17-year-old's work time in any workweek.

However, the driving performed by the 17-year-old may not involve the following activities:

  • Towing of vehicles;
  • Route deliveries or route sales;
  • Any transportation-for-hire of goods, passengers, or property;
  • Urgent, time-sensitive deliveries;
  • Transporting more than three passengers, including employees of the employer;
  • Driving more than 30 miles from the 17-year-old's place of employment;
  • More than two trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to deliver goods of the employer's to customers;
  • More than two trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to transport passengers, other than employees of the employer.

Work that is permissible:

16- and 17-year-olds can operate

  • lifts
  • tire changers
  • wheel balancers
  • service jacks
  • hand jacks
  • air compressors

14 - 15-year-old can      

  • Dispense gasoline and oil
  • Car wash and polish by hand
  • operate office equipment pursuant to  570.34(a)
  • operate vacuum cleaners and floor waxers pursuant to  570.34(h).

Work that is prohibited

  1. 14 -15-year-old may not operate any vehicle!
  2. 16-year-old may not drive for work
  3. 16-17-year-old are prohibited from operating power-driven hoisting apparatus, specifically:
  • forklifts
  • non-automotive elevators
  • skid steers
  • steer loaders
  • backhoes
  • manlifts
  • scissor lifts
  • cherry pickers
  • work-assist platforms
  • boon trucks
  • cranes 

14 and 15-year-old are prohibited from work involving:

  • Use of pits
  • Use of racks
  • Lifting apparatus
  • Inflation of any tire mounted on a rim equipped with removable retaining ring.
  • Use of ladders
  • Use of scaffolds
  • operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing any power-driven machinery, including but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers.

Work Hours       

NH employers are required to post, in a conspicuous place in every room where youths are employed, a printed notice stating:

  • The hours of work,
  • the time allowed for dinner or other meals,
  • the maximum number of hours any youth is permitted to work in any one day.


In any employer’s workweek during which school is in session for four (4) of the days, youths who are 16 and 17 years of age are not permitted to work more than 6 consecutive days and may not work more than 40 ¼ hours during that workweek.

In any employer’s workweek during which school is in session for more than one (1) but less than four (4) days, youths who are 16 and 17 years of age are not permitted to work more than 6 consecutive days and may not work more than 48 hours during that workweek.

During school vacations and from June 1st through Labor Day, youths who are 16 or 17 years of age may not work more than 6 consecutive days or 48 hours in any one week. (There is an exception for youths who reside and work at a summer camp for minors.) (RSA 276-A:4)

16- and 17-year-olds who work more than 2 nights in a week past 8:00 pm or before 6:00 am may not be allowed to work more than 8 hours in any shift during that particular week. RSA 276-A:13.

Daily work max: 16- and 17-year-olds may not work more than 10 hours a day in manufacturing or more than 10¼ hours a day at manual or mechanical labor in any other employment that is not exempt by statute. See RSA 276-A:11.


Total Hours Per Day and Per School Week: Youths who are 14 or 15 years of age are permitted to work 3 hours on a school day during non-school hours and a total of 18 hours during the school week.

On non-school days, they may work 8 hours per day.

During the summer vacation, they may work 6 days per week, but not to exceed 40 hours per week.

From Labor Day through May 31st: they may only work between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.,

From June 1st through Labor Day, they may work until 9:00 p.m.

In any employer’s workweek during which school is in session for five (5) of the days, youths who are 16 and 17 years of age are not permitted to work more than 6 consecutive days and may not work more than 30 hours during that workweek. See RSA 276-A:4

If you have any questions please contact Pete Sheffer, or 603-224-2369.