Holiday hours in the workplace

minnesota department of labor and industry

Wage and Hour Bulletin

Nov. 2, 2017

Holiday hour FAQs:  age, overtime, breaks

Avoiding holiday pay issues

It is time again for holiday shopping, which means extended holiday hours for many retail businesses in Minnesota. Below, we provide answers to a few frequently asked questions to make sure your business is in compliance with state labor laws during the holiday season.

Seasonal (temporary) employees maintain the same employee rights as traditional employees.

What hours can youth employees work?

Minors who are ages 14 to 17 may work in Minnesota, but there are limitations to the hours and types of work they can perform.

Minors who are 14 and 15:

  • may work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.;
  • cannot work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period; and 
  • cannot work more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek.

Minors who are 16 and 17:

  • may work from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • may work past 11 p.m. only on nonschool nights; and
  • may work until 11:30 p.m. with written parental permission on school nights.

Are seasonal employees eligible for overtime?

Seasonal (temporary) employees are eligible for overtime pay after 48 hours worked (and after 40 hours worked under federal law) in a seven-day workweek.

Some seasonal employees may not be entitled to overtime if they work at:

  • a carnival;
  • a circus;
  • a fair; or
  • a ski facility.

    What type of breaks do employees earn?

    Every employee is entitled to the following breaks.

    • Time to use the nearest convenient restroom once for every four hours of work.
    • Time to eat a meal once every eight hours worked.

    Any break fewer than 20 minutes long is considered time worked and must be paid.

    Breaks more than 20 minutes long are not required to be paid if employees are completely relieved from work.


    Labor Standards serves the citizens of Minnesota by providing 
    information about the state's wage, hour and employment laws.
     Phone:  (651) 284-5070 or 1-800-342-5354