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Sutter One Stop

Work Permit

Except in limited circumstances defined in law and summarized in the child labor law booklet, all minors under 18 years of age employed in the state of California must have a permit to work.

How do I get a work permit?
Work permits are issued by the school district. Youth can obtain a work permit at your local high school. Typically, you will make your request for a work permit after you have received the job offer from the employer. A permit to employ and work in industries other than entertainment is usually issued by an authorized person at the minor's school. During summer months or when school is not in session the work permit is obtained from the superintendent of the school district in which the minor resides.

First you will obtain an application for the work permit. The top portion needs to be filled out by the minor, the middle portion needs to be completed by the employer, and a parent or guardian must sign the bottom of the application. Next, the individual will return the completed work permit application to the high school. The permit will be processed and typed. (Please allow at least 48 hours for your school to process you work permit request). Once you have received the work permit from your school, take it to your employer. You may begin working!  

When does the work permit expire?
Permits issued during the school year expire five days after the opening of the next succeeding school year and must be renewed.

Also, if you switch jobs you must obtain a new work permit. A minor must obtain a work permit for each job. A work permit is no longer valid when a minor quits or leaves a job. A new work permit application must be filled out for each new job.  

Can a work permit be revoked?
A work permit can be taken away or cancelled at any time by your high school administration. Usually permits are taken away if there is a problem with your attendance at school or a GPA below 2.0 Yes, the work permit can be cancelled and taken away at any time by a high school administrator. In addition, a work permit can be cancelled at a parent's request with good reason. Good reasons for canceling a work permit include: job does not fit legal requirements for minors, hours scheduled create a truancy or absence problem for the student, or demands of job are causing student to fail classes at school.

Does a work permit require school attendance?
Minors under 18 years of age must attend school to get a work permit. If a student graduates from high school before age 18, he or she no longer needs a work permit. If a student passes the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or the G.E.D. before the age of 18, he or she no longer needs a work permit. When an employer hires someone under 18 years old who has graduated, passed the CHSPE or G.E.D., the document verifying that fact must be given to the employer as proof that no work permit is required. Minors between 16 and 18 years of age who have dropped out of school must be enrolled in continuation or adult school classes for at least four hours per week before getting a work permit.

Emancipated minors must attend school in order to get a work permit. Emancipated minors are those who have gone through court proceedings to be legally separated and freed from the control of their parents for certain reasons. Emancipated minors are still required to get a work permit before being employed but may obtain the work permit without parent consent and signature.

For the complete set of laws governing youth employment in the State of California, click here.