Work Permits and Your Baby’s First Job



I’m having a hard enough time with my oldest growing up as it is. He went to high school this past year. He towers over me in height like an NBA player, and his voice has deepened to the point I can barely recall that sweet little boy voice that used to tell me “I love you Mommy!” (I should also mention I don’t even get an “I love you” out of the kid anymore. Grunts. I get grunts. Apparently at 15 they evolve backward into cavemen.)

Now my boy came home with something that made him even older, one more thing to show me he’s almost all grown up and I can’t deny it any further.

He came home with an application for a work permit.

Part of me wanted to cry and deny he was actually old enough to do this. Then the practical part of my brain reminded myself this kid wants to drive by the end of the year, and that his hockey fees were going to be about $3,000 next school year.

How many jobs is this kid allowed to get? Can he work while he sleeps?

In reality, my precious little snowflake won’t be working that much. Child Labor Laws are pretty strict on our kids. In the end, since us parents are the ones     likely driving them to said jobs, driving to our own jobs, plus taking care of other siblings, it’s probably for the best.

To even start the process of getting a job, your child must obtain a work permit from their local school district. That needs filled out and sent back with a birth certificate or some other form of identification, proof of birthdate, etc. If your child is like my son and under the age of 16, you as the parent also have to write out and sign a statement saying you are aware your child wants a permit, and you understand and approve of the hours and working conditions that come with it. It can also be required for your child in some cases to have a formed signed by a physician.

While 14 and 15-year-olds are legally able to work, not every place hires them, and they are not allowed to do every job. For example, McDonald’s will hire them, but don’t expect these kids to be allowed near high-powered equipment. Children under 16 may not work before 7am or after 7pm. They also cannot work more than 18 hours per week during the school year and 28 hours in the summer. At age 16 the cutoff for work is midnight and they may work 28 hours per week during the school year and there are no restrictions in the summer. A minor may also not work more than six consecutive days, and they may not work more than five hours without a break. Occupations such as farms are exempts from many of these regulations.

If your child is mature enough, having a job is a great way to teach responsibility and put some money in their pocket. It can also help parents out with bills incurred such as expensive sporting fees and car insurance. Laws are in place to protect minors from being taken advantage of, so if the right environment is found, the experience of a teenager finding and keeping a job can be a great thing for the entire family.