As a parent, you likely want your child to develop a good work ethic early on. Perhaps you feel having a job while still in school is an important milestone for your child. Maybe your child wants to get a job so he or she can have some spending money or purchase something big, such as a car. Regardless of the reason, there are laws in California that specify when your child can work and how many hours he or she can work.

The Department of Industrial Relations explains employment law states specific hours a minor may work based on his or her age. The least restricted age group is 16 to 17 years old. This group can work four hours a day on school days and eight hours on days not in school or days prior to non-school days for up to a total of 48 hours per week. When on break from school, this age range may work up to eight hours per day for 48 hours total per week. Work hours are 5:00 am to 10:00 pm for days when school is the next day and until 12:30 am on days before a non-school day.

The next group is 14 to 15 years old. If your child falls in this age range, he or she may work three hours on schools days and eight hours on non-school days for a total of 18 hours per week during the school year. Outside of the school year, he or she may work up to eight hours per day for a total of 40 hours per week. Work hours are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm for most of the year, but from June 1 to Labor Day, he or she can work 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

If your child is younger, ages 12 to 13, he or she cannot work on school days. It may be possible for him or her to work on weekends, but this is not specified under the law. Outside of the school year, he or she may work eight hours per day up to 40 hours per week. If he or she works during the school year, it must be between the hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Outside of the school year, from June 1 to Labor Day, he or she may work 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

This information is for education only and is not legal advice.