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  • Writer's pictureAdam C. Nicolai Esq.


Let's say you are a private employer in California and want to employ a high school student 16 years of age. There is some significant red tape you have to cut through. Here are just a couple of the important laws you should be aware of and follow if you employee a 16- or 17-year-old minor (and the laws vary somewhat the younger the minor is):

1. The minor will need a work permit, which can be obtained from his or her school. The forms required for this are the State of California Department of Education Intent to Employ a Minor and Request for a Work Permit - Certificate of Age Form B1-1 (Rev. 02-14) and the Permit to Employ and Work Form B1-4 (Rev. 02-14). The work permit is required regardless of whether school is in session or not. So even if it is summer and school is out, you still need to obtain the permit. The permit paperwork must be completed by the employer, the school, the minor, and the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the minor.

2. The employer shall not employ a minor 16 or 17 years of age:

--For more than 4 hours per day on a schoolday, with limited exceptions (California Labor Code section 1391(a)(4))

--For more than 8 hours in a day or for more than 48 hours in a week

--Before 5 am, or after 10 pm, on any day preceding a schoolday

--After 12:30 am during any evening preceding a nonschool day

(Lab. Code 1391(a)(3))

A schoolday is defined as any day that the minor is required to attend school for 240 minutes (4 hours) or more (Lab. Code 1391(b))

On top of this, an employer must of course comply with all other federal and state labor laws as to their employees. This can be a complex and difficult task, and Nicolai Law Firm is here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney. It is likely considered advertising.

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