Entertainment industry waivers

Temporary waivers of hours restrictions may be available for children working in entertainment.

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has the authority to issue temporary waivers of time restrictions for children working in entertainment, theater or film.  The following information is designed to assist industry in understanding and applying for a waiver.

Decisions to issue waivers are grounded in the Attorney General's commitment to the safety and well-being of child actors and performers, compliance with the law, and support for the film and entertainment industries.

Note: All employers of minors must comply with relevant requirements set forth in the Massachusetts Child Labor Laws.

What hours of work are permitted?

With an approved entertainment industry waiver, children may work under the conditions shown below:

Age Permitted hours of work
0 to 15 days Minors aged 0 to 15 days are not permitted to work in Massachusetts
15 days to 6 months
  • Time of day restrictions: one period of two consecutive hours in any one day, and such period must be either between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. or between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • actual work must not exceed 20 minutes
  • a nurse must be employed for each 3 or fewer babies
6 months to 2 years
  • Time of day restrictions: may only work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • may work no more than 2 hours/day
  • full shift(s), (including travel from the studio to the location and meal and rest breaks) may not exceed 4.5 hours/day
  • may work no more than 6 days/week

2 to 5 years

  • Time of day restrictions: may only work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • may work no more than 3 hours/day
  • full shift(s) (including travel from the studio to the location and meal and rest breaks) may not exceed 6.5 hours/day
  • may work no more than 6 days/week
6 to 8 years
  • Time of day restrictions: may only work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • may work no more than 5 hours/day
  • full shift(s) (including travel from the studio to the location and meal and rest breaks) may not exceed 8.5 hours
  • may work no more than 6 days/week
9 to 15 years
  • Time of day restrictions:
    • nights preceding a school day: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
    • nights not preceding a school day: 6 a.m.–12:30 a.m.
  • may work no more than 7 hours/day
  • full shift(s) (including travel from the studio to the location and meal and rest breaks) may not exceed 9 hours
  • may work no more than 6 days/week
  • may work no more than 48 hours/week
16 to 17 years

The AGO does not have statutory authority to waive the time of day restrictions contained in the Massachusetts Child Labor Laws, however the AGO will not take enforcement action as a result of a 16- or 17-year-old child working on a play, movie, or production between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., as long as the child's parent or guardian has provided written consent to the employer that the work schedule is reasonable given the child's educational and health needs.

Note that there are no exceptions or waiver options for the following daily/weekly cumulative hours for minors 16 to 17 years old:

  • may work no more than 9 hours/day
  • may work no more than 6 days/week
  • may work no more than 48 hours/week

Employers of minors must comply with other requirements set forth in the Massachusetts Child Labor Laws.  A waiver is not the same as a youth employment work permit; a work permit is required for all minors aged 1417, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149, secs. 86-89. 

Additional Resources for What hours of work are permitted?

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