Many California businesses may consider hiring minors to help with the seasonal workload as summer approaches. The employment of minors can provide valuable work experience for young people and a cost-effective labor solution for employers.
However, it is essential to understand the legal requirements surrounding the employment of minors in California before proceeding.
Know The Rules Surrounding Work Permits
California state law defines a minor as anyone under 18, and businesses that wish to employ minors must adhere to specific regulations. Both the employer and the minor must obtain work permits.
The minor’s school district typically issues these permits, and employers must keep them on file. Additionally, businesses that employ minors must register with the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Employers must register annually and display a notice indicating their authorization to employ minors.
Work Hours And Break Requirements
Another critical aspect of hiring minors in California is adhering to work hours and conditions restrictions. Minors aged 14-15 are limited to working three hours per day on school days, eight hours per day on non-school days and a maximum of 18 hours per week during the school year.
During the summer break, these limits increase to eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. For 16-17-year-olds, the restrictions are less stringent, allowing them to work up to four hours per day on school days, eight hours per day on non-school days, and up to 48 hours per week.
Businesses must also ensure that minors have sufficient breaks and meal periods. California law mandates that minors take specific breaks depending on the hours worked. Employers are also prohibited from employing minors in hazardous occupations like construction, mining and manufacturing.
While California businesses can hire minors this summer, employers must diligently follow the legal requirements to ensure a safe and positive work environment for young employees. If employment issues or disputes crop up, it’s wisest to get experienced legal guidance.