As a business owner, you likely know that various laws exist regarding the employment of workers. For some groups, however, additional laws exist that you must adhere to or risk potential legal consequences. One such group is teenagers, who often provide labor at retail and recreational establishments, among other jobs.

To help ensure you comply with the state’s laws, you should understand the requirements for minor-aged workers.

Employment certificate

According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers under the age of 18-years-old must have an employment certificate. Also known as working papers, underage workers must complete the appropriate form, which includes information about their employment, a certification by their physician, proof of age, and authorization from a parent or guardian.

Upon completion of the form, minor-aged workers must return the form and supporting documentation to their school. At that time, designated officials review the information and may issue working papers if they determine that the employment will not interfere with the minors’ health or education. Should they decide to change jobs, minors must obtain new working papers.

Acceptable work for minors

The type of work and hours allowed for minors depends on the age of the worker. Children of any age may work in the theatrical industry. However, in order to work in newspaper delivery or agriculture, workers must be at least 11-years-old and 12-years-old respectively. Once workers reach the age of 14, they may begin working for offices, retail stores, restaurants, hotels and other such employers. In cases when the business purveys alcohol, however, workers must be at least 16-years-old and they cannot perform jobs that involve the preparation, service or sale of alcoholic beverages.