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Please read and understand the labor disclaimer below. CoGo City disclaims any and all liability whatsoever for any actions taken by any user of the website. CoGo City shall not be responsible for the actions taken of any individual stemming from his or her use of the website and/or the materials featured therein.

The minimum legal age to work in California is 12, but this is governed by state and federal child labor laws and varies based on the following factors:

  • Whether the work is agricultural or non-agricultural;
  • Whether the job is considered hazardous or has duties considered dangerous;
  • Whether school is in session;
  • The legal status of the minor;
  • Whether or not the job is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the FLSA, a minor must be over the age of 14 to work for an employer, such as retail stores, food service establishments, and gasoline service stations, except for minors working for a parent or legal guardian who owns the business. The State of California has the following minimum ages to work:

  • 12 is the minimum age to work in connection with the occupation of selling or distributing newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or circulars;
  • 16 is the minimum age to work in any kind of mechanical work or in a gasoline service establishment as a courtesy service, and for car cleaning, washing, and polishing. It is also the legal minimum age for someone to work in an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises if supervised by someone over the age of 21.
  • 18 is the minimum age to perform an act in a premises where alcohol is served, serve alcohol in a bona fide public eating establishment if the person is not employed as a bartender and the service is in that part of the establishment used for the sale and service of food. It is also the minimum age to sell lottery tickets if supervised by someone over the age of 21.
  • 21 is the minimum age to sell or serve alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets unrestricted.

The State of California has the following restrictions on work hours:

  • Children at the age of 12 may only be employed during school holidays and vacations (usually construed to include weekends. They may never be employed on any school day, either before or after school. When school is not in session, they may be employed 8 hours a day, 40 hours per week. The work hours must be between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. except from June 1 through Labor Day, when the ending time is 9 P.M.
  • Children at the age of 14, who must have completed 7th grade to work while school is in session, may work 3 hours per school day outside of school hours, and 18 hours per week. They may work 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week when school is not in session, and the work hours must be between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. except from June 1 through Labor Day, when the ending time is 9 P.M.
  • Children at the age of 16, who must have completed 7th grade to work while school in session) may work 4 hours per day on any school day, and may work 48 hours per week. They may work 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week when school is not in session, and the work hours must be between 5 A.M. and 10 P.M. except on any evening preceding a non-school day.
  • Children at the age of 18 may work unrestrictedly.

Work Permit:

Typically, after an employer agrees to hire a minor (under 18), the minor obtains from his or her school a Department of Education form entitled “Statement of Intent to Employ Minor and Request for Work Permit” Minors aged 15 days to 18 years employed in the entertainment industry must have a permit to work, and employers must have a permit to employ, both permits being issued by the Labor Commissioner’s Office. The work permit is also a certificate of Age.

Minimum Wages:

The minimum wages in California is $15.50. FLSA allows employes to pay minors a minimum wage of not less than $4.25 an hour to employees who are under 20 years old during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after initial employment.

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