Are you getting ready for your first job?
If you are under the age of eighteen, it’s possible to find work in the state of California; however, there are certain conditions that you have to meet before you start work. One of these is getting a work permit, which is a license that permits you to work if you are under the age of eighteen.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at how to get a work permit in California.
When Can You Start Work In California?
Except in special circumstances, anyone under the age of eighteen needs to have a permit to work in California. Without this work permit, an employer cannot legally employ you or pay you wages.
You need to have a permit to work even during the school holidays. Even when you have a work permit, there are limits on the types of work you can do. You are not allowed to do a hazardous job such as working on a building site. However, there are certain jobs that you don’t have to get a work permit for. These include yardwork or babysitting in private homes.
School Attendance Requirements
Being given a work permit is directly linked to your school attendance. This is done to make sure that you don’t simply skip school to do your new job. If you are between twelve and fifteen years old, you have to attend high school full-time.
If you are sixteen or seventeen, you need to show that you have graduated from high school. Alternatively, you may have a certificate of proficiency. If you have not graduated from high school yet, you need to attend at least four hours of classes each week.
Getting A Work Permit
You can get a work permit from your high school. A work permit is a form called Statement of Intent to Employ a Minor and Request for Work Permit.
Both you and your future employer have to fill out the work permit. The employer signs one section, and your parent or guardian signs the other section. A tutor or counselor can help you complete the paperwork if you have any problems.
If you change jobs…
The permits to employ and work are issued on the same form. You need to give the whole form to your employer when you start work.
During the summer months or when your school is not in session, you can get a work permit from the school district superintendent. You have to renew your work permit each year at the start of the school year. If you change jobs, you have to apply for a new work permit.
Hours You Can Work
There are also limits on the number of hours you can work. These limits vary depending on how old you are and the time of year. Let’s take a closer look at how much and when you can usually work.
When school is in session
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can work for up to four hours on a school day. On weekends you can work up to eight hours a day. You can usually start work from 5 am and have to finish by 10 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it is possible to work until 12:30 am.
If you are 14 or 15 years old, you can work up to three hours on a school day. On weekends you can work up to eight hours a day.
If you are 12 or 13 years old, you can only work on weekends and during school holidays. It is not allowed to work at any time on a school day.
When school is not in session
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can work up to eight hours a day, and the maximum is 48 hours a week. You are allowed to work between 7:00 am, and 12:30 am.
If you are between 12 and 15 years old, you can also work eight hours a day, although the limit is 40 hours a week. You can usually work between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.
A fine will be given…
The specific details of when you are allowed to work will be printed on your work permit. Make sure your employer is aware of the restrictions before you start work. Working for longer than the permitted hours can result in a fine for both you and your employer.
Know Your Rights
One of the great things about getting a work permit is that it gives you certain rights. You have to be covered by Workers’ Compensation, even if you are working for a business in a private residence.
Your employer cannot punish or fire you for reporting a problem in the workplace. If you see or hear something that seems to be illegal, you should report it straight away. If you know about a problem and do not report it, you could get in trouble.
At least minimum wage…
Your employer has to pay you at least minimum wage for every hour you are at work. You also have to get a rest break and a meal break during a shift of more than four hours. If you are a high school graduate, you have to be paid the same wage as adults doing the same job.
Your employer has to keep your work permit on file while you are working for them. From time to time, officers of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or school authorities may want to see your permit. If your employer cannot show it to them, they will receive a $500 fine.
When your wages are paid, your employer has to give you an itemized statement of deductions. You need to hold onto this, as you may ask to present it at a later time.
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While getting a work permit in California is pretty easy, it can take time. It is best to start the process as soon as possible. That way, you should have your work permit by the time you get a job offer.
If you attend an interview before your work permit arrives, it is best to be honest with the employer. Explain that you have taken the steps to get your work permit, and it will arrive soon.
The interviewer is sure to appreciate your honesty, and it could help you secure the job.
All the very best with getting your Work Permit!