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Legal Working Age in California
(2 Types of Penalties Explained)

The legal age to work in the state of California is currently 14-years-old. However, minors between the ages of 14 and 17 face significant restrictions on when, where, and how many hours they can work. Most children also need their parents` permission to work.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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How Many Hours Can a Minor Work in California During School?

If you are under the age of 18, you may only work 4 hours per day on any school day. Minors can work 8 hours on any non-school day or on any day preceding a non-school day. 48 hours per week maximum.

Related Article: Working 7 Days in a Row?

Night Work Restrictions for Minors

Night work restrictions set limits on how late a minor can legally work. For minors under the age of 16, work is prohibited from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. For minors aged 16 to 17, work is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

What is a Work Permit?

If you are a minor under the age of 18 who lives in California, you must have a work permit before you can start a job. You get your permit from your school.

Minors are only able to hold down certain types of jobs, for example, non-hazardous jobs. Work permits are not required for employment as a newspaper carrier, babysitter, or gardener in private homes.

What is the Minimum Wage for Minors in California?

California employers may pay 18-year-olds and minors under the age of 18 the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in California may exist.

Entertainment Industry Exceptions

Child labor laws in California have exceptions for the entertainment industry regarding the employment of minors.

The biggest exemption is for child actors. Minors as young as 15 days old can work as actors. However, all minors need to have a work permit to work in the entertainment industry.

These permits can only be issued by the Labor Commissioner at the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, not by the school district.

Penalties for Employers Who Violate California Child Labor Laws

An employer who violates California child labor laws can be charged with either a Class A or Class B violation. A Class A violation carries a penalty of between $5,000 and $10,000.

A Class B violation carries a violation from $500 to $1,000. Criminal prosecution is also possible, depending on the type of violation.

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If you or a loved one was involved with any of these matters, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.