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Additional Considerations for Minors

Review five additional considerations when working with minors.

1. What is the age of the individual?

In order to volunteer or intern at Northwestern University, an individual should be at least 16 years of age.

Note: Exceptions may be made to the minimum age requirement in consultation with the Office of Human Resources.

*Individuals and minors under the age of 18 do not require a criminal background check.


2. Are the activities hazardous?

The following activities are considered hazardous and are prohibited for all minors:

Note: This is a non-exhaustive list; it is intended to highlight the most common hazards that could be encountered in a University setting. Please review the Volunteers and Visitors Facility Use Agreement for more information.

3. Have you obtained proof of age from the individual?

Minors must provide proof of age before they may begin in the department. The customary procedure for verifying proof of age is as follows:

Alternatively, the prospective Intern or Volunteer may request an Age Certificate from his or her school's issuing officer, which the prospective Intern or Volunteer then provides to the Department Administrator or Designee. The Department Administrator or Designee retains this document in the Intern or Volunteer's department file and emails a copy to the Office of Human Resources at

Note: Proof of age may also be requested from those who are 18-20 years of age as deemed necessary, but this is not required.

4. Did you know that minors have work hour restrictions?

  1. When school is in session, children 14 and 15 years of age may work:
    • Up to 3 hours per day;
    • Up to 24 hours per week; and
    • The combined hours of school and work may not exceed 8 hours per day.
  2. When school is NOT in session (including summer vacations, holidays and weekends), children under the age of 16 may NOT work:
    • More than 8 hours per day;
    • More than 6 days per week; nor
    • More than 48 hours per week.
  3. Allowed hours of work are 7am to 7pm except between June 1st and Labor Day, when working hours may be extended to 9pm.
  4. A scheduled meal period of at least 30 minutes shall be provided no later than the 5th consecutive hour of work.

5. Have you posted the scheduled hours and time of the lunch period?

If minors are present, the Illinois Department of Labor requires that you post the scheduled hours and time of the lunch period.