Are you thinking about applying for a part-time job after school and on weekends?
Working a few hours a week while you are studying is a great way to get some extra cash. You can also learn new skills and work experience, which can be very useful after you graduate.
However, the state of New Jersey has strict regulations that dictate when and where minors can work. If you are under the age of eighteen, you will need to apply for a work permit and follow the rules.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at how to get a work permit in New Jersey.
Child Labor Laws Age Requirements
Under federal child labor laws, the minimum working age is usually fourteen years old. Before starting work, it is necessary to apply for an employment certificate, which is also known as working papers. However, you don’t need to apply for working papers if you are working for a family business like a restaurant.
Teenage Working Hours
People under the age of eighteen can work a maximum of forty hours a week during the school holidays. After working six days in a row, you need to take at least one day off. If you are fourteen or fifteen, you are permitted to work until 21:00 with permission from a parent or guardian. If you are sixteen or seventeen, you can work until 23:00 or midnight with permission from a parent or guardian.
When school is in session, you can work a maximum of eighteen hours a week if you are fourteen or fifteen. You can work up to three hours on a weekday and up to eight hours on a Saturday or Sunday.
How to Get a New Jersey Work Permit?
You need to get a job offer before applying for a work permit. During the interview with your potential employer, you need to show them your proof of age. This could be your birth certificate, passport, student ID card, or driver’s license.
You can download an A300 Combined Certification Form from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Alternatively, you can visit your school guidance counselor and ask them for the form. The guidance counselor may ask you a few questions about the job you plan to do and check on your grades.
You need to complete Section A of the form with your personal information. This will include your name, address, date of birth, gender, and social security number. A parent or guardian will also have to sign to form to give you permission to work.
Take it with you…
You then have to take the form to your employer and get them to complete section B. This includes the type of business they run, the job you are being offered, and the offered working hours. The employer also needs to sign the line that states ‘Promise of Employment’.
Before you are eligible to work, you need to get a physical exam or a note from your doctor. This states that you are physically able to work. The person supplying the test or note has to complete Section C of the form.
Once this is done, you need to ask someone at your school to complete section E of the form. This section states that your grades are sufficient for you to take on part-time work. Once all of the sections have been completed, you must give the A300 Combined Certification Form to your employer.
Your employer needs to keep your work permit on file at the place you work at all times. This has to be the original A300 Combined Certification Form rather than a copy. They should also keep a photocopy of your proof of age on file. If the employer is unable to produce these documents on request, they are likely to receive a fine.
Your work permit is only valid for the job you have applied to do. If you change jobs at any time, you will need to apply for a new New Jersey work permit. You will need to take all of the steps outlined above to make sure the details on the form are correct.
Agricultural Child Labor
This is one of the main exceptions to the child labor laws. Children aged twelve and older are allowed to work unlimited hours both before and after school. Because of this, around half a million children in the United States are employed on farms each year.
Most agricultural work for minors involves picking fruit and vegetables. However, the National Safety Council states that agriculture is one of the most dangerous jobs for children because they are exposed to hazardous pesticides and other chemicals, while there is also a risk of injury.
The Employment Contract
Before you start work, you will be given a contract to sign. This should clearly state the hours you will be expected to work and the hourly rate you will receive. You need to read the contract carefully before you sign it and make sure a parent or guardian reads it too.
It is important to understand that the contract is a legally binding document. If there is anything in the contract that you are not happy about, talk with your employer before signing. Once you have signed the contract, you will be expected to stick to the terms and conditions.
Want to Find Out about Work Permits for Other States or Need Some Career Advice?
Whatever state you are in, you will need to know the regulations, so take at our guides on How to Get a Work Permit in Massachusetts, How to Get a Work Permit in California, How to Get a Work Permit in Maryland, How to Get a Work Permit in Illinois, or How to Get a Work Permit in Arizona in 2023.
You may also be interested in some Good Jobs for Teens, or knowing the Best Fast Food Jobs for Teens, How Much Can a Teenager Work in a Week, Can Teens Work at Two Jobs, How to Become a Teenage Survey Taker, or even How to Become a Teenage Dog Walker.
And for some great teenage career advice, take a look at Life Skills and Career Coaching for Teens, or Soft Skills Training: A Workbook to Develop Skills for Employment, the Life Skills Activity Workbook, or the Road Map to Your Job.
Working in your spare time after school and during the school holidays can be a rewarding experience. Most entry-level jobs come with paid training to provide you with basic skills. These skills and experience will make it easier to gain a more advanced position after you leave school.
Bear in mind that most jobs for minors pay minimum wage or slightly lower. Therefore, it is important to find out how much and when you will be paid before you agree to start work. Also, if you will be given a uniform, find out if it is free or if you will be charged for it.
All the best with getting a New Jersey Work Permit.