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With the summer around the corner, many businesses will be looking to hire minors to fill jobs during their busy season.  For parents and employers alike, it is important to know the rules regarding the hiring of minors and the limitations on the work they can perform.

Child labor laws age requirements

Federal child labor laws, with certain exceptions, state the minimum age to work is 14 years of age.    In New Jersey, children under 14 may work in specific fields as long as they obtain a special permit. For newspaper carriers, the minimum age is 11; for farm work, the minimum age is 12; and for theater work, there is no minimum age.  This special permit is called the A310 Combined Certificate Form.

Child labor employment certificates

All minors under the age of 18 who work in New Jersey must have an employment certificate also known as “working papers.”  This certificate is called the A300 Combined Certification Form.

There is personal information that must be completed by the minor who must take it to their employer to complete the employment information.

There is also a section on the form which must be completed by a licensed physician.  A sports physical should suffice unless the minor’s school rules require a more recent physical.   Should the parent choose, the form can also be completed by the minor’s pediatrician.  A parent or guardian must also consent to the minor’s employment and also provide proof of age. The minor must return the completed form to their school and the designated school official will issue the employment certificate as long as the job will not interfere with their education or damage their health.

Child labor working hours

Under New Jersey law, no one under 18 years of age can work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.  When school is not in session, 14 and 15 year olds, with a parent or guardian’s permission, may work until 9:00 pm.  For 16 and 17 year olds, they can work until 11:00 pm and, in certain jobs, after midnight with permission.

Child labor compensation

Some workplaces are required to pay minors minimum wage while others are not required to do so.  For example, any food service or retail store is required to pay minimum wage. However, nursing homes, boardwalk and other seasonal amusements as well as summer camps are not required to pay minimum wage.

Get needed guidance

Let Marzano Human Resources Consulting provide you with the guidance necessary to ensure you provide minors with a valued work experience while also ensuring you comply with the complexities of federal and New Jersey employment regulations.


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