In order to protect children from abuse and make sure they receive an education, the state of California has implemented certain rules setting forth guidelines for underage employees. If an employee is under eighteen, they must have a valid work permit in order to legally work. The employer, meanwhile, must also have a permit to employ the minor. Both the permit to employ and work are issued on the same form which the employer must keep on file at all times. This permit is typically issued by an authorized person at the child’s school and signed by the child’s parents. Keep in mind that a work permit can be revoked if the teen starts falling behind in school. You can find a copy of the form at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlseformB1-1.pdf.
While school is in session, children ages twelve and thirteen may only be employed during holidays and vacations – never during a school day. Children ages of fourteen and fifteen can work three hours per school day, so long as it is outside of school hours, and eight hours on any non-school days. However, children this age cannot work over eighteen hours in one week. Once a teen reaches the ages of sixteen and seventeen, they are permitted to work four hours per day on school days, eight hours on non-school days, and must not go over forty-eight hours in one week. A detailed chart is available at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/MinorsSummaryCharts.pdf
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California Department of Labor regulates the employment of minors. Child labor laws do not apply to parents or legal guardians whose children work for them on property they own or operate. If you believe you were incorrectly employed, please contact Potter Handy Employment Law Group for an employment intake.