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Work Permits



To obtain a work permit, you may print out the application from the link below. If you do not have access to a printer, you may come into our office and pick one up.

Merced County Office of Education
632 W. 13th Street, Building B​
Merced, CA 95341 

(209) 381-6607


Work Permit Application


Minors must provide proof of age (i.e. birth certificate, medical/insurance card, or any  document showing the minor's name and birth date)

​Work Permit Rules per Federal and State Child Labor Laws

All minors under age 18, including minors employed by parents, (ED.C.49141) must have a Work Permit except if minor has graduated from high school. Applications are available at each school while school is in session and during the spring break, fall break and summer at your local County Office of Education. Work permits must be renewed at the start of each new school year or at the time the student obtains a new job. Work permits are required all year, not just when school is in session. It serves as an age certificate and states the maximum hours a minor may work based on their age (ED.C.49160). Merced County residents may call Merced County Office of Education for information at 381-6607. All minors under age 18 must be enrolled in school to get a work permit.

Contact your local county office of education for information on obtaining work permits when school is not in session.

16 & 17 Year Olds

Must have completed 7th grade to work while school is in session.
(EC 49112)

School In Session

4 hours per day on any school day
(EC 49112, 49116; LC 1391)

8 hours on any non-school day or on any day preceding a non-school day.
(EC 49112; LC 1391)

48 hours per week (LC 1391)

WEE students & personal attendants may work more than 4 hours on a school day, but never more than 8.
(EC 49116; LC 1391, 1392)

School Not In Session

8 hours per day (LC 1391, 1392)

48 hours per week (LC 1391)


Spread of Hours

5 a.m.–10 p.m. However, until 12:30 a.m. on any evening preceding a non-school day (LC 1391)

WEE students, with permission, until 12:30 a.m. on any day (LC 1391.1)

Messengers: 6 a.m.–9 p.m.

14 & 15 Year Olds

Must have completed 7th grade to work while school is in session
(EC 49112)


3 hours per school day outside of school hours (EC 49112, 49116; LC 1391)

8 hours on any non-school day

No more than 18 hours per week
(EC 49116; LC 1391)

WEE students may work during school hours & up to 23 hours per week.
(EC 49116; LC 1391)



8 hours per day (LC 1391, 1392)

40 hours per week (LC 1391)


7 a.m.–7 p.m., except that from June 1 through Labor Day, until 9 p.m.
(LC 1391)

12 & 13 Year Olds

Labor laws generally prohibit non-farm employment of children younger than 14. Special rules apply to agricultural work, domestic work, and the entertainment industry. (LC 1285–1312)

2 hours per school day and a maximum of 4 hours per week.
(EC 49112)







8 hours per day (LC 1391, 1392)

40 hours per week (LC 1391)


7 a.m.–7 p.m., except that from

June 1 through Labor Day, until 9 p.m. (LC 1391)

UNIFORMS (I.W.C. Orders)
When uniforms are required by the employer to be worn by the employee as a condition of employment, such uniform shall be provided and maintained by the employer. A uniform includes wearing apparel and accessories of distinctive design or color (i.e. company name imprinted hats, shirts, etc.)

Prohibited Employment Hazardous Occupations for Minors Federal Law
The Federal Government under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has listed 17 hazardous occupations which minors UNDER THE AGE OF 18 are prohibited from working in any capacity. There are no exemptions or exceptions !!! This is a partial list. For a complete listing contact the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • Serving Alcoholic Beverages

  • Motor Vehicle Driving - Minors may not drive on any public highway. This does NOT prohibit a minor from driving on private property (i.e. auto car dealer lot)

  • Power-Driven Woodworking Machines

  • Exposure To Radioactive Substances- X-Rays

  • Power-Drive Hoisting Apparatus-automobile hoist, lift truck, fork lift, elevator, crane, derrick

  • Power-Driven Metal-Forming, Punching, Shearing Machines

  • Power-Driven Bakery machines - dough sheeter, bread, meat or vegetable slicer, dough mixer

  • Power-Drive Paper-Products machines - paper bailers, box crushers

  • Power-Driven circular Saws, Band Saws, Guillotine Shears

  • Roofing Operations

  • Excavation Operations - cannot work in trenches deeper than 4 feet

  • Explosives Manufacturing Occupations

  • Mining Operations

  • Logging and Sawmilling Operations

  • Occupations In Slaughtering, Meat Packing and Rendering Plants

  • Brick, Tile and Kindred Products Manufacturing

  • Wrecking, Demolition and Ship-Breaking Operations


Workers Compensation Insurance
All minors must be covered by Workers Compensation including minors employed by parents and minors employed by businesses operating from a private residence.
Note: Private homeowners insurance only provides Workers= Compensation coverage for employees performing domestic work, not work performed for your business (L.C. 3700). Call State Workers Compensation fund for information at (916) 463-6201.


Prohibited Employment Hazardous Occupations
For Minors California Labor Law
In addition to Federal (FLSA) regulations the State of California prohibits minors UNDER THE AGE OF 16 from the following occupations. This is a partial list. For a complete list contact the Dept. of Industrial Relations at 248-8400.

  • Selling Or Serving Alcoholic Beverages

  • Public Messenger Service

  • In Hazardous Occupations

  • In all building construction work of any kind

  • The operation of motor vehicles or service as helpers on such vehicles.

  • Cooking/Baking

  • In a Pool or Billiard Room

  • In the Vicinity of Moving Machinery

  • In the Vicinity of Explosives

  • In or about Moving Equipment, Aircraft, Vessels

  • In or about Gasoline Service Stations

  • In Selling to Passing motorists - newspapers, candy, flowers or other merchandise/commodities (C.A.C. 11707)

  • All occupations in warehouses except office and clerical work

  • In Door-to-Door Selling- candy, cookies, flowers newspapers/magazines subscriptions or other merchandise/commodities unless these conditions are met: (C.A.C. 11706)

      1. Minors work in pairs as a team

      2. One adult supervisor for ten or fewer minors

      3. Within sight or sound of supervisor every 15 minutes

      4. Returned to home or rendezvous point daily

Wages (I.W.C. Orders)

  • In most cases, minors must be paid at least minimum wage.

  • If a student works a split shift, they must be paid one extra hour at the minimum wage.

  • If a student reports to work, but is not given work and is sent home, that employee is owed a minimum of two hours pay for their time and trouble. If employees are asked not to clock in, they must be free to leave and cannot be required to wait without being paid, as they are under your direction and control.

Tax Withholding& Statement
All employers must furnish each employee, at the time wages are paid, a separate or detachable itemized statement of deduction. (L.C.226, 226.2) (IRS Circular E-Employers Guide)

For More Information on California or Federal Laws and Minors Contact:

Department of Industrial Relations Field Office
31 E. Channel Street, Room 318
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 948-7770
FLSA - U.S. Department of Labor Field Office
2981 Fulton Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 979-2040

State Workers Compensation Insurance
31 E. Channel Street
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 463-6201​​​