Today Your Legal Corner will discuss “child labor laws and summer employment.”
If you have children, than guaranteed you have heard the plea-Mom/Dad, can I have some money? Growing up, such requests would usually result in a lecture over me not knowing the “value of a dollar” and wait till I got older and had to “work for a living.” I took those lectures to heart becoming the first female “paperboy” in Gloucester Township!
While times have changed, we still try to instill a strong work ethic in our children that will serve them well throughout their lives. It is exciting when they obtain that first summer job that signals the first signs of independence and becoming self-sufficient. For parents and employers alike, it is important to know the rules regarding obtaining a summer job and the limitations on the work they can perform.
Child labor laws age requirements
Federal child labor laws, with certain exceptions, state the minimum age to work is 14 years of age. With N.J. labor laws, children under 14 may work in specific fields as long as they obtain a special permit. For newspaper carriers, the minimum age is 11 years old. For farm work, the minimum age is 12 years old. For theater work, there is no minimum age. The special permit is called A310 Combined Certificate Form and can be obtained through the school your child attends.
Child labor employment certificates
All minors under the age of 18 who work in New Jersey must have an employment certificate also known as “working papers.” This certificate is called A300 Employment Certification Form and can also be obtained through your child’s school. There is personal information that must be completed by the minor who must take it to their employer to complete the employment information.
The minor must also obtain a physical or doctor’s note. A sports physical should suffice unless the school rules require a more recent physical. A parent or guardian must also consent to the minor’s employment and also provide proof of age. The minor must return the completed form to the school and the designated school official will issue the employment certificate as long as the job will not interfere with their education or damage their health.
Child labor working hours
Under New Jersey law, no one under 18 years of age can work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. When school is not in session, 14 and 15 year olds, with a parent or guardian’s permission may work until 9:00 pm. For 16 and 17 year olds, they can work until 11:00pm and in certain jobs after midnight, with permission.
Child labor compensation
Some workplaces are required to pay minors minimum wage while others are not required to do so. For example, any food service or retail store is required to pay minimum wage. However, nursing homes, boardwalk and other seasonal amusements as well as summer camps are not required to pay minimum wage.
Just as when we hear that first plea for money as parents, we need to remember the important role we play in deciding whether our child is ready to work, regardless of the minimum age to work in N.J. We must continue to exercise supervision and protect them as they take their first steps towards independence and self-sufficiency!
Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will share “A teenager’s perspective on safe driving.”
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the Law Firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.
For questions, contact Victoria at [email protected] and be sure to follow us on Facebook!
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.