Is your teen is looking for a part-time job? If so, what do you need to know about their future employer? Washington State requires employers of teenagers to satisfy certain requirements. It is important for you, the parent, to understand what an employer is required to do if they employ teenagers.
Any employer of teenagers has to be approved by the State of Washington. The employer must obtain a minor work permit endorsement to their master business license. The minor work permit must be visibly displayed and renewed annually.
The employer must require all teenage workers to have a parent or guardian’s permission to
work. If the job is during the school year, then the employer must require a school authorization as well. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has a specific form form the employer must use for the parent and school authorizations when hiring a teenager. The form must be kept on file with the employer for a year and be redone every year.
The employer must require age certification as well. Age can be verified by birth certificate or driver’s license. An employer can also accept a parent’s witnessed statement of a child’s age.
The employer must keep accurate records on all teenage employees for a period of 3 years after their hire. The employer must keep a record of the “employee name, address, occupation, dates of employment, rate(s) of pay, amount paid each pay period and the hours worked.”
A family business is treated as any other business and is required to have the state minor work permit endorsement, parental permission, school permission, and keep all records for a period of 3 years.
Are There Any Exceptions?
As we discussed in a recent post, the Washington limits 14 to 15-year-olds to working a maximum of 3 hours a day for a total of 16 hours a week when school is in session. When school is not in session, then these teenagers can work a maximum of 40 hours per week. For 16 to 17-year-olds, the work hours are 4 hours per day for 20 hours per week during the school year. They can work up to 48 hours a week when school is not in session. But, an employer can request a variance to allow a 16 or 17-year-old worker to work up to 6 hours a day with the possibility of an 8 hour shift Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, for a total of 28 hours a week.
Can a variance be granted for any employer? It is not the employer itself that the variance applies to, but the teenage worker. In order the special variance to be granted, the employer, parents, teenager, and the school must all agree that extra work hours would not be harmful to the teenager’s academic performance.
Prohibited Hazardous Occupations
Aside from the prohibited activities listed in federal law, Washington state has further limitations limitations. There are exemptions to the prohibition for hazardous occupations, specifically for student-learners. The only way an employer can get such an exemption is to request the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries to evaluate any work-based work-based learning activities activities.
If your teen has applied for – and wants to accept a job – you have the right to make sure the employer is following proper procedure. If you have questions, you should consider contacting one of our attorneys.