Employing minors

The steps you need to take

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Employers have very specific requirements to follow to lawfully employ minors, including the proper documentation for a work permit. Here are some of the requirements:

  1. Work permit requirement for minors — Under the Labor Code, a “minor” is any person under 18 who is required to attend school. So, an applicant under 18 years old who has graduated from high school or has completed a GED requirement does not need a work permit.
    • Complete and submit a California Department of Education Form B1-1 Statement of Intent to Employ Minor and Request for Work Permit—this form needs a parent signature if the applicant is not emancipated. [link to form]
    • Obtain from the school a completed CDE Form B1-4 Permit to Employ and Work. [link to form]
    • A current work permit must be kept on file for each school year (the school year runs from July 1st through June 30th).
  2. Work restrictions for minors
    • Minors may not operate vehicles on public highways or streets.
    • Check with your liability insurance carrier for any additional restrictions.
    • Minors may not work in certain hazardous occupations
    • Hours/work schedule restrictions and other limitations will be set forth in the CDE B1-4 permit issued by the school district.
    • Minors under the age of 14 are not employable except for certain limited industries such as agricultural and entertainment occupations, as well as newspaper delivery.

Also, remember that contracts/agreements signed by minors may not be legally binding on them, so you should consider obtaining a parent/legal guardian’s signature on important agreements and acknowledgments.