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Working Papers

Students who seek employment before turning 18 years of age are required, by law, to have working papers.  Applications and information about obtaining working papers are available in the Main Office.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor – State Child Labor Law

Minimum Age – Minors under 14 years of age may not be employed or permitted to work in any occupation, except children employed on farms or in domestic service in private homes.  Under certain restrictions, caddies, and news carriers may be employed at 12 years old and juvenile performers in the entertainment field at the age of 7.

Employment Certificates (vacation and general) – No person under the age of 18 shall be employed without an employment certificate, kept on file by the employer.  School authorities issue employment certificates.

Special permits are required for minors in theatrical/other performances at ages and hours otherwise prohibited.

Transferable Work Permits – May be issued to 16 and 17-year-olds in place of vacation or general employment certificates.  Obtain these through the Main Office.  Minors issued a transferable work permit are not required to obtain a new permit or certificate each time he/she changes employers; however, the employer is required to notify BCTHS when a minor begins or terminates employment.

Hours of Employment – Ages 14 and 15 – During school term – maximum 4 hours on school days, 8 hours on any other day, 18 hours per school week (Monday through Friday) and only at a time that does not interfere with school attendance, plus eight additional hours on Saturday and Sunday.  During summer vacations – (and at any time for 16-year-olds with general employment certificates) – maximum 8 hours per day, 44 hours per week.  Employment is prohibited after 7 PM and before 7 AM (exceptions-summer vacation employment until 10 PM and minors from age 12 may be employed at distributing or selling newspapers, magazines, or other publications between 6 AM and 8 PM). 

Hours of Employment – Ages 16 and 17 – During school term – Maximum 28 hours per school week (Monday through Friday) if enrolled in regular day school, plus eight additional hours on Saturday and eight additional hours on Sunday.  However, maximum daily hours cannot exceed 8 hours per day.  Students may not work after midnight (Sunday through Thursday) or before 6 AM during the entire week.  (Exception – students may work the night preceding a school holiday occurring during the school year until 1 AM the next morning. Students may work on Friday night until 1:00 AM on Saturday and Saturday night until 1:00 AM Sunday.  During summer vacation (and at any time for 16-year-olds with general employment certificates)-maximum 8 hours per day, 44 hours per week.  No night work limit for students.  No night work limit at any time for minors legally excused from school attendance.  At any time – maximum employment – 6 days/week, 30 minute meal period required on/before five consecutive hours of work. 

Prohibited occupations – Minors 16 and over are permitted to operate a single vehicle, not over 30,000 lbs.  Or any such vehicle towing a trailer, not over 10,000 lbs. Gross weight.  Minors under 16 may not be employed in establishments which dispense alcoholic beverages.  Minors age 16 may be employed on licensed premises as food waitresses or waiters and busboys/busgirls.  At age 18, such persons may serve and handle alcoholic beverages.  There are 37 prohibited occupations for minors under the age of 18 and the age of 16.  For a list of the specific occupations, contact the local Bureau of Labor Standards Office. 

Penalty – any person, agent, or manager for any person violating or permitting any violation of the Child Labor Law shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $300.00 for the first offense and not less than $250.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for any subsequent offense or imprisonment for 10 days, or both.