Table of Contents:
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 those 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.
Obtaining Forms for Enrolled Students
The necessary forms can generally be found and filed at the teenager's high school, whether it is public or private. If school is not in session, the forms can be found at the school district's central office. A school official can process the paperwork and witness the signature of the parents on the consent form. Most offices must be contacted beforehand to ensure an official is available.
Obtaining Forms for Other Minors
If the minor is home-schooled, the forms can be found at the high school nearest to his or her residence, the office of the local school board, or the local department of social services. Minors who live somewhere else during the school year must visit one of these three locations. A work permit cannot be obtained unless the minor is physically in Virginia at the time of the application.
The Filing Process
The first permit form is "Intention to Employ", which must be filled out by the prospective employer. The type of work being performed must be described, along with the total number of hours per week, how many hours on each day, and the amount of time given for breaks. The second form is "Permission for Employment,"which must be filled out by the minor's parents or legal guardians and signed in the presence of the person issuing the permit. The minor must also bring proof of age, such as a birth certificate, school record, or passport. Three copies of the work permit will be issued after these forms are filed: one for the employer; one for the minor's school; and one that is sent to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry along with both original forms.
Under Virginia law, when school is in session, minors cannot work during school hours, work more than 18 hours a week, or work more than three hours a day. If school is not in session, minors cannot work more than 40 hours a week or eight hours a day. Work exceeding five hours requires a thirty minute break. If the minor is performing agricultural work on a farm, garden, or orchard owned by his or her parents or legal guardians, the minor may be allowed to work during school hours. Work permits can be revoked if these restrictions are violated, and the employer will be fined.