Child Labor Laws

Employment of minors is regulated under numerous authorities such as the California Labor Code, the Education Code and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This section explains the employment of minors. It includes exceptions and restrictions, work permits, record keeping, wages and possible penalties when codes or laws are violated.​

  • Child Labor Law Coverage

    Child Labor Law CoverageAlmost all employees under the age of 18 are covered by California’s child labor protections.  More »

  • Employment Restrictions for Minors

    Employment Restrictions for MinorsEmployment in certain industries, such as entertainment and agriculture, is covered by different requirements than most other industries.   More »

  • Work Permits for Minors

    Work Permits for MinorsWith certain limited exceptions, you must acquire the required work permits before employing a minor.   More »

  • Working Hours for Minors

    Working Hours for MinorsThe total number of hours a minor can work and the permitted spread of hours, varies depending on the age of the minor and the time of year in which work will be performed.  More »

  • Wages for Minors

    Wages for MinorsYou cannot pay minors who have graduated from high school or have a Certificate of Proficiency less than adult employees in the same establishment for the same quantity and quality of work.   More »

  • Penalties for Incorrectly Employing Minors

    Penalties for Incorrectly Employing MinorsIf you employ or permit underage minors to work in a prohibited occupation or hazardous duty - no matter how voluntary the act is on the part of the minor - you are liable for Class A penalties.  More »

    ​​Read about 2016 legislation.

HRCalifornia can help California employers seeking to employ minors. Employers shouldn't necessarily steer clear of hiring minors, but employers must take caution to comply with applicable child labor laws. Federal and state regulations create strong protections for child labor. HRCalifornia's extensive resources can help guide employers through compliance issues related to these laws.