California Child Labor Laws – Permits to Employ and Work


California child labor laws require youth under 18 years of age to have a permit to work before they may legally work in California, unless an exclusion applies. CA Education Code 49160 Without a permit, employers may not employ youth 17 years old and younger without violating California’s child labor laws.




Obtaining a permit to employ and work

As part of obtaining a permit to employ and work, employers are required to submit to the individual authorized to issue a permit to employ and work (listed below) a written notification of its intent to employ a minor. The application to submit the written notification may be obtained from the individual authorized to issue a permit. CA Education Code 49162 Before the application may be submitted, it must be signed by the parent or guardian of the youth the employer intends to employ. CA Education Code 49163

The following individuals may issue permits to employ and work:

  • the superintendent of a school district in which the minor resides
  • the chief executive officer, or the equivalent position, of a charter school that the minor attends
  • a person holding a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services authorized by the superintendent of the school district or chief executive officer in writing, or a certificated work experience education teacher or coordinator authorized by the superintendent of the school district or chief executive officer in writing
  • if the minor resides in a portion of a county not under the jurisdiction of the superintendent of a school district and does not attend a charter school, the county superintendent of schools, a person holding a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services authorized by the county superintendent of schools in writing, or a certificated work experience education teacher or coordinator authorized by the county superintendent of schools in
    writing may issue a work permit.

  • the principal of a public or private school, or another designated administrator in the school, to pupils who attend the school

CA Education Code 49110



Exclusions

California child labor laws exclude the following from the requirement to obtain a perit to employ and work:

  • high school graduates or minors who have been awarded a certificate of proficiency CA Education Code 49101; CA Labor Code 1286
  • parents or guardians who employ their children in agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, or domestic labor on or in connection with property the parent or guardian owns, operates, or controls CA Labor Code 1394
  • minors who are irregularly employed in odd jobs in private homes, such as baby-sitting, lawn mowing, and leaf raking (18 Ops.Cal. Atty. Gen. 114, August 31, 1951)
  • minors who are at least 14 years of age and employed to deliver newspapers to consumers CA Education Code 49112(d)
  • minors of any age who participate in any horseback riding exhibition, contest, or event, whether or not they receive payment for services or prize money
    CA Education Code 49112(d); CA Education Code 49165; CA Labor Code 1308(b)



Expiration

Permits to employ and work expire five days after the opening of the school year following the school year in which the permit was issued. CA Education Code 49118