California Child Labor Laws by Age
Before diving into the ins and outs of getting a work permit for minors in California, it's important to know the legal
Minors under age 12 who want to work must attend school full time and can only work in the entertainment industry by permit, during the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and up to eight hours a day or 40 hours per week, or in jobs that don't require permits. At age 13, the same restrictions apply, though 13-year-olds may work as personal attendants or in household occupations, too, on non-school days.
At ages 14 and 15, minors attending school full time can work with a permit in many retail, food service, clerical and office
For 16- and 17-year-olds, school attendance of four to 15 hours per week, including at a continuation school,
All minors' wages must meet those required by the Industrial Welfare Commission, with some exceptions. By California law, high school graduates can work the same hours as adults, even if they graduated high school before reaching the age of majority.
About the Work Permit
Officially, the document that minors need
The permit details the duties of the occupation and the location of the work,
- The minor's name, phone number, address, Social Security number, birth date and age at the time of issuance.
- Name of the minor's school, its address and phone number.
- Maximum number of daily and weekly work hours permitted for school days and non-school days, while school is in session and when school is not in session.
- Name of the business and its address.
- Any additional remarks or work limitations.
- Minor's signature and date signed.
- Issuing authority's name and title, signature and date signed.
Under the California Education Code, work permits expire five days after the opening of the next school year, except for permits issued to full-time, exempt 14- and 15-year-olds, which expire at the end of the current school year. A California work permit is only valid at the business listed on the permit. Minors can have
Work Permit for Minors: Application Process
Entertainment Industry Permits
It should come as no surprise that work permit rules for minors in California go a little out of their way to cater to the state's iconic entertainment industry, allowing minors as young as 15 days old to work. In that case, babies can only work for up to two hours per day in 20-minute sessions. The hours get more lenient the older the worker gets, reaching up to eight hours of work activity for 16- to 18-year-olds
- Permits to work.
- Presence of
or guardian on employment site. parent
- Presence of studio teacher and nurse.
- Limited exposure to lights for babies up to 6 months old.
- Time allotted for rest and recreation.
Entertainment work permits fall into a few different categories. Most common is the standard entertainment work permit, which is renewable every six months while the minor is under 18. First-time applications must include proof of birth date, such as a birth certificate, a letter from the hospital, a baptismal certificate or a passport. All applications for school-age children require approval from the school, and workers younger than one month also need to submit a medical certification.
A 10-day temporary entertainment work permit is a one-time document issued immediately without the need to submit a birth certificate or to seek approval from the minor's school. As of 2019, this permit comes with a $50 fee, unlike other California work permits. This permit is available only to minors aged 15 days to 16 years and only if the minor has not previously
To get an entertainment work permit, interested parties can apply online at the State of California Department of Industrial Relations' website. Alternatively, the DIR accepts paper copies (also available to print at their website) of the Application for Permission to Work in the Entertainment Industry by mail, addressed to the California DIR. Applicants can also visit the Van Nuys Entertainment Work Permit unit at 6150 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 100.
No Permits Required for Certain Work
The same goes for minors who do what California laws call casual work in homes, including things
Child Labor Laws and Penalties
Class A violations typically involve the employment of minors in dangerous occupations. These violations incur penalties ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for every minor
Class B violations usually relate to nonhazardous occupations, including the entertainment industry, and carry fines between $500 and $1,000 per
Minors in California can
work permits by applying to their local school districts, but many stipulations apply to their ability to work legally. obtain
- State of California Department of Industrial Relations: Information on Minors and Employment
- State of California Department of Industrial Relations: Summary Chart (Minors)
- California Department of Education: Work Permits for Students
- California Department of Education: CDE Form B1-4
- California Department of Education: CDE Form B1-1
- State of California Department of Industrial Relations: Applications: Entertainment Work Permit Application
- California Department of Industrial Relations: 6-Month Entertainment Work Permit
As a freelance writer and small business owner with a decade of experience, Dan has contributed legal- and finance-oriented content to diverse sources including Chron, Fortune, Zacks.com, Motley Fool and MSN Money, among others.