Unlike many other states, Texas doesn't require formal work permits for minors under the age of 18. It does, however, restrict occupations and hours of employment depending on the young person's age. If found guilty of violating the state's child labor laws, an employer faces criminal penalties and a fine up to $10,000 for each violation. Employers can request that a prospective teen employee obtain a certificate of age for official verification.
Certificate of Age
Teens between the ages of 14 and 17 can contact the Texas Workforce Commission to receive a certificate of age. The teen must provide a recent, original headshot photograph, along with proof of age documentation such as a birth or baptismal certificate, passport issued within one year, life insurance policy with teen's birth date, or school record containing physician's certificate of age and sworn statement from parent.
Hours and Prohibitions
Under Texas law, teens ages 14 to 15 can't work more than eight hours daily, or more than 48 hours weekly. Once a teen turns 16, there are no state restrictions on working hours. However, federal restrictions apply. Fourteen and 15-year olds can't work in mining or manufacturing operations, or use power-driven machinery besides equipment typically found in offices. They can't work as public messengers or operate motor vehicles. Sixteen and 17-year olds can't work in explosives plants or operate various types of machinery.
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.