Employers Need to Be Mindful of Minor Work Laws
Many people begin their employment as teenagers, and with the labor shortage following the COVID-19 pandemic, these young individuals are filling many positions in many different workplaces. While teens who often accept lower wages seem like a great solution for employers, it is important for any company hiring minors to make sure that they are in full compliance with all laws relating to minors at work.
Younger teens have restrictions on the type of work they can perform. For example:
- Ages 12 and 13 = May only work as newscarriers, household occupations, or personal attendants
- Ages 14 and 15 = May work in more occupations, such as food service, office work, or retail, but they cannot work in construction, manufacturing, or other work involving machines
- Age 16 and 17 = May work in any occupation aside from specific work designated as hazardous under the law, such as working with toxic substances or explosives, demolition, roofing, or driving motor vehicles
No matter what the job entails, however, an employer must obtain a work permit before hiring the minor, which usually comes from the minor’s school district.
The law in California sets out limitations on how much minors can work to ensure they still have time for their schoolwork. Some restrictions include:
- Ages 12 and 13 = May not work on school days, and during school vacations and holidays, they can work for a maximum of eight hours per day until 7 p.m. (or 9 p.m. during the summer months)
- Ages 14 and 15 = May only work three hours per school day and eight hours per non-school day until 7 p.m. (or 9 p.m. during the summer months)
- Ages 16 and 17 = May only work four hours per school day and eight hours per non-school day until 10 p.m. on nights before school days or 12:30 a.m. on nights when there is no school the next day
Mandated Reporter Training in California
As of the start of 2021, all employers that hire minors and have at least five employees must have reporting requirements when it comes to child abuse, including sexual abuse and neglect, under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law. HR employees must be trained to report any instances of child abuse, while other adults who engage in direct supervision of or contact with a minor employee must report any suspicions of sexual abuse against the minor.
Speak with an Encino Employment Lawyer About Your Questions
All of the above laws specifically apply to minor employment, and if your company hires teenagers, you must be in full compliance. This is in addition to complying with all other state and federal labor laws, which fully apply to minor employees, as well. Violations can be costly for employers, so never hesitate to discuss compliance questions or disputes with the Encino employment attorneys at Kaufman McAndrew LLP. Contact us online or call 818-788-5767 today.