State Fair brings crowds, teen workers


Wage and Hour Bulletin

August 2022

Colorful fair food truck signage

State Fair brings crowds, teen workers

The end of summer means the beginning of the Great Minnesota Get-Together and other local fairs. It also means employers may opt to hire teen employees to work at these events.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) wants to remind businesses of child labor laws that apply to workers at the State Fair and beyond.

At the fair, it seems all the food is either deep fried, on a stick or in a bucket — notably a bucket of chocolate chip cookies. However, employers should be aware that workers under the age of 16 are not allowed by Minnesota rule to operate or assist in the operation of bakery machinery.

In addition to eating deep-fried foods, the fair is a place for thrill-seekers to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl until they're green in the face.

Employers should take note that any worker under the age of 18 may not maintain, test, repair, erect or dismantle amusement rides, and may be subject to additional limitations.

The fair is also an all-day event. This year, the State Fair is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. DLI reminds employers that under state law, any minor employee age 14 or 15 may not work before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Additionally, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work more than eight hours in any 24-hour period or more than 40 hours in a week.

The fireworks are a perfect ending to a day at the fair. But employers should be aware that any employee under the age of 18 is prohibited from working in or about any place where pyrotechnics or explosives are fired.

DLI is here to help employers and workers understand their workplace rights and responsibilities. For more information about child labor laws, visit


Labor Standards serves the people of Minnesota by providing
information about the state's wage, hour and employment laws.

Phone:  651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354