How to Get an Under 18 Work Permit in Oregon

By Mary Jane Freeman

Many states require certain minors under 18 to obtain work permits before they can work in the state. But, in Oregon, only minors under 14 must obtain work permits. The minor's parent and employer must complete a permit application and submit it to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Both state and federal laws apply to the employment of minors in Oregon.

Minor Defined

Oregon considers anyone under the age of 18 a minor. Minors can legally work in the state if they are 14 or older under certain restrictions. Minors under 14 can also work so long as they are employed in certain industries, such as farming.

Minors Under 14

Generally, minors under 14 cannot work in non-agricultural jobs because doing so is prohibited by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. A few exceptions exist for children who do simple chores in private households, work in the entertainment industry, babysit, deliver newspapers or work for their parents. But children who work for their parents cannot work in manufacturing, mining or industries deemed hazardous under FLSA, such as those involving radioactive substances or use of power-driven equipment. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries will issue work permits only to minors under 14 who work in agriculture or another exempt category. An Employment Permit Application for Minors Under 14 may be obtained from the BLI's website.

Additional State Restrictions

Oregon imposes additional restrictions on minors under 14. They cannot be employed:

  1. selling door-to-door 
  2. where alcohol is sold or served 
  3. at theme parks
  4. at theaters
  5. in adults-only establishments 

Permit Application

The minor's parent or guardian must complete the first page of the permit application with the minor's name, age, sex, address and school. The employer completes the second page, which asks whether the employer is the minor's parent, whether the minor will be working in agriculture and whether alcohol is served on the premises. The employer's name and address along with the minor's duties, wage and work hours must also be provided. Once the minor's parent and employer complete and sign the permit application, the parent must return it, along with proof of the child's age, to: Bureau of Labor and Industries,Wage and Hour Division, Child Labor Unit, 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 1045, Portland, OR 97232-2180.

Tip

Contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries at (971) 673-0836 if you have questions about eligibility for a work permit.

Work Hours

In Oregon, minors under 14 can only work for two hours after school and up to six hours on Saturdays and Sundays. They can't work on more than five days in one work week and their hours can't exceed more than 18 per week. If school is out for two weeks or more, they can work up to eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. However, they still cannot work more than five days in one week. Additionally, minors under 14 can work only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but if working for a parent, they can work up to 9 p.m. after obtaining a special permit from the BLI.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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