Child Labor Laws

Illinois Child Labor Work Rules
These rules apply to any minor employed as a performer in Motion Pictures, Television, Commercials, Music Videos, Digital Productions, Industrials and any/all other filming productions.  Please contact IDOL for more information on Theatrical Stage Musicals/Plays, Live Music, Singing, Dancing, Print or Live Modeling minor employment rules and law.  

  1. Minor Employment Certificate: A valid Illinois Minor Employment Certificate must be issued to the minor prior to employment.
  2. Supervision: A minor must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while employed.
  3. Meal Break: A minor must receive a ½ hour meal after five (5) hours of work.
  4. Work Day: The child work day must remain between the hours of 7AM and 7PM from Labor Day to June 1, and between 7AM and 9PM from June 1 to Labor Day. 
  5. Turnaround: A minor must be provided a twelve (12) hour turnaround rest break at the end of the workday and prior to the commencement of their next work day or school day.
  6. Days: No minor shall be employed for more than six (6) days in any one week.
  7. Facilities: All Minors must be provided with separate and adequate facilities for rest, schooling and recreation.
  8. Posting: Employers must post a copy of the Illinois Child Labor Code is a location visible to all staff and crew.

Work Hours between Labor Day and June 1

Age Actual Work Hours Tutoring Hours Rest and Recreation
0-83 Hours5 Hours1 Hour
9-15*5 Hours3 Hours1 Hour

*The combined hours of work and school may not exceed 8 hours, and may not exceed
9 hours at the place of employment.


Works Hours on a Weekend Day or Holiday

Age Actual Work Hours Tutoring Hours Rest and Recreation
0-87 hoursNone1 Hour
9-157 hoursNone1 Hour


Works Hours from June 1 through Labor Day

Age Actual Work Hours Tutoring Hours Rest and Recreation
0-87 hoursNone1 Hour
9-157 hoursNone1 Hour


Minor Employment Certificates
All children under the age of 16 are considered minors in the state of Illinois and are required by law to obtain a Minor Employment Certificate prior to working on a motion picture, television show, commercial, music video, or any other film or video related production activity.  Without exception, children who are residents of other states must obtain an Illinois Minor Employment Certificate while working in Illinois.  The certificate must be obtained prior to the minor’s employment and is valid for one year.

Night Waivers
A waiver may be obtained to extend the window of working hours after 7PM from Labor Day to June 1, and after 9PM from June 1 to Labor Day.  The waiver must be completed and signed by the parent/guardian and submitted, by the employer, to John Tribble at IDOL by 12PM on the day of work or 12PM Friday for weekend work. However, the waiver does not extend the allowable total work hours, per day. 

Stunts & Athletic or Acrobatic Activity
No minor shall perform, Stunts, Unusual Athletic or Acrobatic Activity, unless the minor and the parent/guardian represent that the minor is capable of performing such activity, and the parent/guardian gives prior consent in writing.

Hazardous Activity
No minor shall be required to work in any hazardous situation that places them in a clear and present danger to life and limb, regardless of parental consent. 

For additional questions please contact the Illinois Department of Labor #312-793-2804.


The above mentioned rules apply to all productions filming in Illinois regardless of union affiliation.  If your production is signatory to SAG-AFTRA, additional rules may apply.  Please find additional information here or contact SAG-AFTRA Midwest at (312) 573-8081 or