Texas Child Actors

Under Texas child labor laws, employers may employ a child under the age of 14 as a child actor if the child has received authorization from the Texas Workforce Commission. An application for authorization must include:

TX Code 51.012; TX Admin. Code 817.31

Authorizations are valid until a child turns 14, unless a shorter period was designated. If an authorization is lost, a new application must be submitted. TX Admin. Code 817.31(c)

Employers may obtain special authorization for child actors under 14 years of age to be employed as extras without the need for filing an application if the employer or its agent:

  • communicates with the Texas Workforce Commission prior to work being performed and identifies the employer, the project, the approximate number of extras intended to be employed on the particular project, and the anticipated dates of employment;
  • uses reasonable efforts prior to employment to establish that each prospective child actor extra is under 14 years of age;
  • secures the written consent of a parent or guardian the child’s employment as an extra on the particular project;
  • notifies all affected school principals of the intent to employ their students as extras, furnishing such details concerning the nature and duration of the work as to give school authorities reasonable information concerning the proposed use of their students in the particular project; and
  • submits a written post-production report to the Texas Workforce Commission, within 10 days following the last day extras are employed, identifying the name, social security number, date of birth, and inclusive dates of employment for each child actor employed, certifying compliance with Texas’s child labor laws.

TX Admin. Code 817.32(a)

Special authorizations for extras are effective when employment begins and expire as soon as one of the following events occurs:

  • the child reaches the age of 14;
  • the child receives a Child Actor Authorization;
  • the parent or guardian revokes consent in writing; or
  • the child’s employment on the particular project by that employer ends.

TX Admin. Code 817.32(b)

There are limitation to children under 14 years of age working as child actors. Child actors under the age of 14 may not work:

  • in a manner that results in a failure to receive class credits because of unexcused class absences, or any violation of the TX Code 25.085, or of any rules promulgated thereunder;
  • in a position declared hazardous by the Texas Workforce Commission;
  • during hours that would not be within the limits set by Texas’s child labor laws for 14 and 15 year old children, except that the child is permitted, with parental consent, to work during otherwise prohibited hours, so long as the child does not work again for the same employer within 12 hours after completing work for the particular session and does not by being so employed work in excess of eight hours in one day or 48 hours in one week;
  • where the child is required to use a dressing room that is simultaneously occupied by an adult or by a child of the opposite sex;
  • where the child is not provided with a suitable place to rest or play;
  • where the child is sent to wardrobe, makeup, or hair-dressing, unless the child is under the general supervision of the child’s parent or guardian if the parent or guardian is physically present at the place of employment;
  • where the child’s parent or guardian is prevented from being present at the place of employment while the child is working;
  • where the child’s parent or guardian is prevented from being within sight and sound of the child at any time during employment; or
  • for more than two consecutive school days during a school year in which the child is legally required to attend school without being furnished a tutor for the child’s continuing education. The tutor shall be certified to teach in Texas by the Texas Education Agency or the State Board for Educator Certification, and shall make reasonable efforts to coordinate subjects and assignments with the child’s classroom teachers.

TX Admin. Code 817.33

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