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What are California rules governing Permits to Employ and Work for minors?

Except in limited circumstances defined in law and summarized in the child labor law booklet, all minors under 18 years of age employed in the state of California must have a permit to work.

Prior to permitting a minor to work, employers must possess a valid permit to employ and work. The permits to employ and work are issued on the same form. A permit to employ and work in industries other than entertainment is usually issued by an authorized person at the minor's school. During summer months or when school is not in session the work permit is obtained from the superintendent of the school district in which the minor resides.

Typically, after an employer agrees to hire a minor, the minor obtains from his or her school a Department of Education form entitled "Statement of Intent to Employ Minor and Request for Work Permit". The form must be completed by the minor and the employer and signed by the minor's parent or guardian and the employer. After returning the completed and signed form to the school, school officials may issue the permit to employ and work.

Permits issued during the school year expire five days after the opening of the next succeeding school year and must be renewed.

Source: DLSE Information on Minors and Employment

The permit is a single form issued by the California Department of Education. Permits are required even when school is not in session. Permits are issued for specific employment at a specified address, and they contain the maximum hours a minor may work in a day and week, the range of hours during the day that a minor may work, any occupational limitations and any restrictions imposed at the school's discretion. All terms must not violate the law and cannot diminish employee protection.

Record Keeping

Employers must keep all permits on file. Records must be open at all times for inspection by school authorities and officers of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Failure to produce permits is prima facie evidence of the illegal employment of minors and triggers a $500 fine on the first offense.

Employers of minors must also keep, for three years, a record showing the names, ages (dates of birth) and addresses of all minors employed and time and payroll records required by the applicable Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order.

All employers must furnish each employee, at the time the wages are paid, a separate or detachable itemized statement of deductions. Employers who employ student learners must keep a copy of the written agreement with the minor.

Source: California Child Labor Laws


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