Child Labor Laws/Links

Permits

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California Child Labor Law states that minors must have an Entertainment Work Permit and employers must have a Permit to Employ Minors issued by the DLSE.

Out-of-State Locations

Note: California Child Labor Laws apply not only within California, but to children and producers who travel from California to out-of-state locations. This includes the requirement to provide a studio teacher.

A minor may work between the hours of 5:00 am & 10:00 pm on nights preceding school days or 5:00 am & 12:30 am on nights preceding non-school days.

Age Max Work Time Education Rest & Recreation Meal Period Max. Time At Location
15 days – 6 mo. 20 min (See “Babies” section below) 2 hours
6 mo. – 2 years 2 hours 0 2 hours 1/2 hour 4 1/2 hours
2 – 5 years 3 hours (3 hours Education / R&R) 1/2 hour 6 1/2 hours
6 – 8 years 4 hours 3 hours 1 hour 1/2 hour 8 1/2 hours
Non-school days 6 hours 0 2 hours 1/2 hour 8 1/2 hours
9 – 15 years 5 hours 3 hours 1 hour 1/2 hour 9 1/2 hours
Non-school days 7 hours 0 2 hours 1/2 hour 9 1/2 hours
16 – 17 years 6 hours 3 hours 1 hour 1/2 hour 10 1/2hours
Non-school days 8 hours 0 2 hours 1/2 hour 10 1/2hours

Additional Child Labor Laws

BABIES: Babies under 6 months old are limited to 2 consecutive hours on set, either between 9:30 am and 11:30 am or between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm, with 20 minutes of working time. For babies 15 days to 6 weeks; 1 studio teacher and 1 nurse must be present for every 3 babies. For babies 6 weeks to 6 months; 1 teacher and 1 nurse must be provided for every 10 babies. Babies cannot be exposed to light greater than 100 footcandle intensity for more than 30 seconds at a time.
BLANKET PERMIT: Blanket permits are issued for large groups of minors (i.e. Marching Band) for a specific production over a specific period of time.
COOGAN LAW: Parents are required to open a “Coogan” blocked trust account within 7 days of the start of employment. Employers are required to deposit 15% of gross earnings directly into the minors Coogan account in a timely manner.
EMANCIPATION: Regulations are fully applicable to emancipated minors unless emancipation document specifically exempts the minor from provisions of the Labor and Education Code.
California’s laws governing the employment of minors in the entertainment industry apply to motion pictures of any type (movies, TV, documentary commercial, etc.), photography, recording, modeling, theatrical productions, publicity, rodeos, circuses, musical performances, and any other event where minors perform to entertain the public. (8 CCR 11750)
GRADUATED MINORS: Any minor who has graduated from high school, or has been awarded a certificate of proficiency, may be employed any hours as an adult, performing the same work. Studio Teachers and work permits are not required.
OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA: California employers who employ resident minors out-of-state, under contractual arrangements made within California must comply with all California regulations. Minors from out-of-state working in California must also adhere to California law.
PARENT OR GUARDIAN: Must be within sight or sound of minor under 16 years of age at all times. 16-17 year olds do not require parent/guardian.
Violation of California child labor laws may result in revocation of employer’s Permit to Employ Minors (8 CCR 11758) as well as fines and imprisonment for both employer and parent/guardian (Labor Code 1308).
PERMITS: Permits are issued by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Permits may be denied, revoked or suspended for any violation of the law (including discrimination against a studio teacher for performing authorized duties).
PERMIT TO EMPLOY MINORS: Employers must obtain a “Permit to Employ Minors.” Applications must be submitted with a current policy of workers’ compensation insurance.
RATIO OF MINORS PER STUDIO TEACHER: 10:1 on school days and 20:1 on non-school days.
REGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND WORK: If a minor attends regular or home school prior to reporting to work, the time spent in school will be considered 6 hours regardless of how long the child actually spent at school. 1 hour of R & R will be allocated to that 6 hour period. Example: a 9-15 year old minor who attends regular school would be permitted on set for a maximum of 3.5 hours.
Educational instruction must be offered between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:00 pm for children in grades 1-6; and between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm for children in grades 7-12. Employers are to provide adequate facilities (i.e. a table and chairs, someplace where the child can study without being disturbed).
SPLIT CALLS/TWO OR MORE JOBS IN ONE DAY: Minors may work 2 or more jobs in 1 day. The combined total hours at all jobs, however, may not exceed the limits set forth by law. The last company employing the minor will be held responsible for assuring that the requirements have been met.
STUDIO TEACHERS: Employers must provide a studio teacher for the education of all minors up to 18 years. Additionally, studio teachers shall care and attend to the welfare of all minors 16 years of age or under.
TEACHER CERTIFICATION: A studio teacher must hold 2 clear California teaching credentials. 1) A multi-subject k-12 (primary) and 2) A single subject (secondary) credential in: English, Math, Social Science, Science or a Foreign Language. Additionally, written examination & training will be required of the Studio Teacher by DLSE for final certification.
TRAVEL TIME: Travel between school/home and studio is not work time. However, studio to location counts as work time. When on distant location up to 45 minutes (each way) travel from overnight lodging to work site is not generally considered work time.
TURN AROUND: 12 hours must elapse between the minor’s dismissal time and next day call time or school start time. If the minor’s regular school starts less than 12 hours after dismissal time, the minor must be schooled the following day at the employer’s place of business.
WAIVERS: Neither studio teachers, parents nor the DLSE are empowered to waive—at any time—under any circumstances—any minimum labor standard established in law or regulation.
WORK DAY: A minor may work between the hours of 5:00 am & 10:00 pm on nights preceding school days or 5:00 am & 12:30 am on nights preceding nonschool days. Exception: With 48 hour advance written approval from the DLSE minors age 8 – 18 may continue a performance starting before 10:00 pm up to 12:00 am preceding a school day. Turnaround rule must be observed.
WORK PERMIT: Minors must have a current/valid “Entertainment Work Permit” before work can be granted. Permits are valid for six months.
WORK TIME: All time spent getting in and out of make-up, wardrobe or hairdressing shall be considered time worked. If a minor is not called to the set, but is called for a period up to 1 hour in to hair/make-up, wardrobe, personal appearances, publicity, or audio recording when school is NOT in session, a studio teacher need not be present however parent/guardian presence is required.
WORK WEEK: No more than six days work in seven.

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