Ohio Child Labor Laws – Age and Schooling Certificate


Ohio child labor laws require any youth who are of compulsory school age to obtain an age and schooling certificate before they may be employed and an employer may not employ a youth without first obtaining a the youth’s age and schooling certificate. The age and schooling certificate certifies the age of the minor and allows an employer to employ the minor in any permissible occupation based on the employee’s age. OH Code 4109.02(A); 4109.03 Youth are of a compulsory school age if they are between 6 and 18 years old or under six years old and enrolled in kindergarten. OH Code 3321.01(A)(1)





Application

To receive an age and schooling certificate, youth must submit an application to the superintendent of the school district in which the child resides or the chief administrative officer of the school that the child attends. If youth are residents of other states, they must submit the application to the superintendent of the school district in which the place of employment is located.

To be complete, an application must contain the following:

  • a written promise of the prospective employer that it will legally employ the child, permit the child to attend school as legally required, and give notice of the nonuse of an age and schooling certificate within five days from the date the child quits or is dismissed from employment, giving the reasons for the quit or dismissal;
  • the child’s school record or notification
    • school records are are documents filled out and signed by the person in charge of the school which the child last attended that give the child’s recorded age of the child, address, standing in studies, rating in conduct, and attendance in days during the school year of the child’s last attendance
    • notifications contain information submitted to the superintendent by the parent of a child excused from attendance at school
  • evidence of the age of the child as follows:
    • a certified copy of an original birth record or a certification of birth shall be conclusive evidence of the age of the child and is preferred;
    • if a birth record or certification of birth is not available:
      • a passport, or duly attested transcript thereof, showing the date and place of birth of the child; or
      • an attested transcript of the certificate of birth or baptism or other religious record, showing the date and place of birth of the child;
    • if none of the above proofs of age can be produced, other documentary evidence, except the affidavit of the parent, guardian, or custodian, satisfactory to the superintendent or chief administrative officer may be accepted
    • in case no documentary proof of age can be procured and it has been established that all reasonable efforts have been made to find any appropriate documentary evidence, the superintendent or chief administrative officer of the school may agree to accept a medical certificate as proof of age, which is a certificate issued by the school physician, or if there isn’t none, of a physician, a physician assistant, a clinical nurse specialist, or a certified nurse practitioner employed by the board of education, indicating that the physician or other permitted medical expert is satisfied that the child is above the age required for an age and schooling certificate
  • a physical fitness certificate from a licensed physician, a physician assistant, a clinical nurse specialist, or a certified nurse practitioner, or from the district health commissioner, showing after a thorough examination that the child is physically fit to work in occupations that are not prohibited by law for the youth based on their age
    • a physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, or certified nurse practitioner may issue a “limited” physical fitness certificate showing that a child is physically fit to work in some, but not all, occupation that are not prohibited by law for the youth based on their age

OH Code 3331.02



Certificates for 16 and 17 year old youth

Until July 1, 2016, superintendents of schools may issue age and schooling certificates to 16 and 17 year olds if the child and parents, guardian, or custodian have agreed in writing and sufficient proof has been provided of the following:

  • the youth is not addicted to a habit that will likely to detract from the child’s:
    • reliability or effectiveness as a worker,
    • proper use of the child’s earnings or leisure,
    • probability of faithfully carrying out the conditions to which the child agrees
  • that the child meets one of the following criteria:
    • the child has been a resident of the school district for the last two years, has diligently attended school for the last two years, and is able to read, write, and perform the fundamental operations of arithmetic
    • the child has been a resident of the school district less than two years, diligently attended school in his or her prior school district for the year prior to his or her transfer from the prior school district, and has diligently attended school in new school district since arriving;
    • the child transferred to school district since the beginning of the last annual school session, and that instruction adapted to the child’s needs is not provided in the regular day schools in the district; or
    • conditions are such that the child must provide for the his or her own support or the support or care of parents, brothers, or sisters and that the child wants to work to provide such support and cannot do so by solely working outside of school hours and has written consent from a juvenile judge and by the department of job and family services
  • the child has agreed to diligently attend, in addition to part-time classes, evening classes that will add to the child’s education for literacy, citizenship, or vocational preparation which may be made available to the child in the school district and which the child may be directed to attend by the superintendent, or in case no such classes are available, that the child will pursue such reading and study and report monthly thereon as may be directed by the superintendent

Beginning July 1, 2016, superintendents of schools may issue age and schooling certificates to 16 and 17 year olds who:

  • agrees in writing, along with the youth’s parents, guardian, or custodian, that the youth is not addicted to a habit that will likely to detract from the child’s:
    • reliability or effectiveness as a worker,
    • proper use of the child’s earnings or leisure,
    • probability of faithfully carrying out the conditions to which the child agrees
  • is enrolled in a competency-based instructional program to earn a high school diploma in accordance with the rules adopted by the state board of education

OH Code 3331.04



Limited age and schooling certificate

A youth’s age and schooling certificate may be limited and only allow the youth to work in specific occupations if the youth’s medical certificate, submitted with the age and schooling certificate application, indicates that the youth has limited physical capacity. OH Code 3331.06



Reissued certificates

An age and schooling certificate must be reissued when a youth changes employers. To receive a reissued certificate, a new pledge from the employer must be filed. Additionally, a new physical fitness certificate must be filed if the prior certificate is no longer valid. OH Code 3331.07



Appealing a decision to refuse to grant an age and schooling certificate

If a superintendent of schools or chief administrative officer of a school refused to grant a youth an age and schooling certificate after an application has been submitted, the youth may appeal the decision to the juvenile judge of the county within 10 days of the refusal decision. OH Code 3331.08



Exceptions

Youth who are 16 and 17 years old do not have to provide an employer an age and schooling certificate for employment that is exclusive to summer vacation and that meets any age restrictions. Before 16 and 17 year old youth may be hired for summer employment, they must provide their employer an approved form of proof of age and a statement signed by the minor’s parent or guardian consenting to the employment. OH Code 4109.02

Ohio child labor laws do not require youth to obtain an age and schooling certificate in the following circumstances:

  • minors who work in a sheltered workshop operated by a county board of developmental disabilities
  • minors performing services for a nonprofit organization where the minor receives no compensation, except for any expenses incurred by the minor and meals provided to the minor
  • minors who are employed in agricultural employment and who do not reside in agricultural labor camps
  • minors who are sixteen or seventeen years of age and who are employed at a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment, which include:
    • an amusement or recreational establishment that does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; and
    • an amusement or recreational establishment whose average receipts for any six months during the preceding calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third per cent of its average receipts for the other six months of that calendar year

OH Code 4109.06(B), (D)



Employer’s notification requirements

An employer must notify the superintendent of schools or chief administrative officer who issued an age and schooling certificate that the certificate is no longer being used within 5 days after the youth has quit or been dismissed from employment. OH Code 4109.03

If an minor does not show up to work for three days without an explanation, the youth’s employer must consider the employment to be terminated and must give proper notice of the nonuse of the age and schooling certificate to the authority who issued it. OH Code 4109.09(B)

In instances where a minor has made a written request that his or her employer give notice of the nonuse of the minor’s age and schooling certificate, the employer must mail the age and schooling certificate to the authority who issued it within 3 days. If the employer fails to mail the certificate within 3 days, the minor may recover from the employer an amount equal to the wages which the minor would have earned if the minor have continued to work for the period between the time the employer received the minor’s request and the initiation of the minor’s suit or the employer’s compliance with the request. OH Code 4109.09(A)