Marco Lucido, Workplace Law: Employing minors during the summer?

Marco Lucido, Workplace Law: Employing minors during the summer?
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Marco Lucido, Workplace Law: Employing minors during the summer?  Monterey Herald

Marco Lucido, Workplace Law: Employing minors during the summer?


A few teenagers have come to my business looking for a summer job. What should I consider when hiring a teenager for the summer?


Before you hire a minor, there are certain requirements you must follow to ensure the employment of the minor complies with various child labor laws. In general, the child labor laws apply to employment of individuals under the age of 18 years old who are required to attend school. Below are some of the main requirements employers should be aware of when employing a minor.

Work permit

Except under limited circumstances, all minors must obtain a work permit before they can legally work. If the minor is a high school graduate or has a certificate of proficiency, that is one of the circumstances in which the minor does not require a work permit. During the summer, the work permit is obtained by the minor from the minor’s school district. Many employers wonder if they can employ minors visiting California for the summer from out of the state. Employers can employ visiting minors as long as the minor obtains a work permit from the school district where the minor is living while visiting California.

Employers should keep in mind that summer work permits expire five days after the start of the new school year. If an employer plans to employ a minor after the summer ends, the employer must ensure that the minor’s work permit is timely renewed.

Restrictions on positions held by minors

Employers should also be aware there are restrictions on the types of positions minors can hold. This usually depends on the employer’s industry and the minor’s age. For example, a 17-year-old may not work in a position that requires the minor to sell or serve alcohol to guests. Also, minors employed in fast-food restaurants who are younger than 16-years-old may not prepare food out of the plain sight of the customer.

Wages and work hours

Minors must be paid at least minimum wage and applicable overtime wages. Also, there are limits on the number of hours a minor can work. This usually depends on the minor’s age and whether or not school is in session. In general, when school is not in session, 12 through 15-year-olds may work eight hour shifts and forty hours per workweek, and the shift can end as late as 9 p.m. Minors that are 16 or 17 years old can work eight hour shifts and forty-eight hours per work week, and the shift can end as late as 12:30 a.m. when the shift precedes a non-school day. When school starts, the number of hours 14 through 17-year-olds can work on or before a school day is limited, and 12- and 13-year-olds may only work during school holidays and weekends.

Reporting child abuse or neglect

Employers should also be aware that employing minors may subject the employer to California’s mandated reporter law. Under California’s mandated reporter law, certain individuals are required to report any known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or the county welfare department. If a business employs a minor and has five or more employees total, then its human resource professionals and supervisors are considered “mandated reporters” for purposes of the state reporting law.

For more information regarding compliance with child labor laws visit https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSE-CL.htm and https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ChildLaborLawPamphlet.pdf.

Marco Lucido is a lawyer with Fenton & Keller in Monterey. This column is intended to answer questions of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice. Email queries to email@fentonkeller.com.

Source: montereyherald.com


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