Question — I am wondering if it is OK for an 18-year-old high school student to be required to work until midnight while that student has school the next day.
Answer — Yes. The youth employment provisions of the Wage and Hour Act do not apply to students who are 18 years old or older, even if they are still in high school. Youths enrolled in school in grade 12 or lower who are 16 and 17 years old cannot work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when they have school the next day.
However, N.C. Gen. Stat. 95-25.5(a1) allows an exception to this rule: “This restriction does not apply to youths 16 and 17 years of age if the employer receives written approval for the youth to work beyond the stated hours from the youth’s parent or guardian and from the youth’s principal or the principal’s designee.”