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It is common for employers to offer minors work experience or employment opportunities during the summer months, after school or on the weekends. However, employers must know the legal and litigation risks of hiring minors.  Federal and State laws govern the employment of young workers, and when both are applicable, the law with the stricter standard must be obeyed.  Violations of these laws can result in severe consequences, including fines, legal penalties, and damage to the company’s reputation. 

Before hiring a minor, ensure you have written consent from their school and parents/guardians.  This can be done via work permits, which are typically issued by the school where the student is enrolled.  Work permits outline the duties and location of the work and the hours a minor may work.  In most cases, this is a two-step process; the minor and their parent/guardian and the employer fills out the form and submit it to the school where the minor is enrolled.  The school district then reviews the form and issues a work permit.  The employer needs to keep this in the personnel file of the employee.

Tailoring tasks and responsibilities to match the capabilities and age of the minor is essential once they start working.  By providing engaging and meaningful assignments that allow minors to contribute effectively, employers can strike a balance between fostering growth and adhering to legal requirements.   It is essential to consult with experienced employment counsel for guidance on appropriate work assignments for minors, as the minor’s age can impact what assignments are prohibited.  Employers must understand and address the legal and litigation risks involved.  Ensuring a safe, inclusive, and legally compliant work environment for all minors protects the organization and fosters a positive learning experience for them.

At Chauvel & Glatt, our Employer Lawyers specialize in helping businesses navigate the complex legal landscape in California. We can work with you to design a structured, well-defined job description that satisfies legal requirements while outlining the expectations, duties, and learning objectives.  We understand the challenges of hiring minors and the importance of compliance with all legal requirements to minimize any potential legal risks in doing so. Contact the experienced legal counsel at Chauvel & Glatt.

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.


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