Summer vacation is rapidly approaching and teenagers everywhere will soon be looking for ways to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Employers can reap the benefits of this summer workforce as long as they pay careful attention to the restrictions and conditions laid out by the FLSA, the Labor Code, the applicable Wage Orders and California’s Education Code.
With very limited exception, minors are required to possess a valid work permit to be employed even in the summer months. When school offices are closed, permits can be obtained from the attending school’s district office and each work permit (Form B1-4) specifically details: 1) the maximum number of hours of work per day that is permitted when school is in and out of session and 2) the times during which the minor is allowed to work. It is important to note that all work permits expire on the 5th day of the new school year and will need to be reissued if employment will continue.
There are a myriad of both federal and state restrictions on the type of work minors can perform along with where that work can take place. Employers must be aware of potential pitfalls as improperly employing minors can result in fines ranging into the thousands of dollars.