Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton
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Minor labor laws in California

Although there are situations where minors under the age of 18-years-old are needed to work, there are child labor laws designed to protect them against certain work violations. These Child Labor Laws address issues, including school attendance requirements, wages, work permits, hours of work and minimum ages allowed for certain types of employment.

According to these laws, children ages six to 15-years-old must be in school full-time; however, this can include personal tutoring or approved alternative schools. Kids that are 16 or 17-years-old may choose to attend high school part-time while they work. Most everyone under the age of 18 needs a work permit to be employed in the state. Yet, those who have a certificate of proficiency do not have to have a work permit or attend full-time classes.

Minors must be paid at least minimum wage and is eligible to overtime rates, breaks and lunches similar to traditional workers. When it comes to hours worked, however, minor employees ages 16 and 17 are limited to four-hour work days on school days. They may work eight hours on non-schooldays, as well as when school is not in session. Workers ages 14 and 15 can only work three hours on schooldays, and those aged 12 and 13 may only work on vacations and holidays when school is not in session. There are exceptions for kids who are enrolled in a Work Experience Education program.

Minors who hold a job responsibly may learn a good work ethic. People who employ minors, however, should be sure meet all regulations listed under the Child Labor Laws.

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