How to Get a Work Permit in Arkansas

Getting a work permit in Arkansas is much easier than most teens think, but the entire process can be pretty confusing if you've never done it before. Because of this, we've created this page which outlines everything you need to know about getting a work permit in Arkansas.  If you're under the age of 16, a work permit is required to work part-time at any company, so follow what we've outlined here and you can get a job in no time.

Minimum Working Age in Arkansas

Teenagers in Arkansas complaining of “nothing to do” can keep themselves busy and earn money by the age of 14, while gaining valuable work experience through summer or part-time employment. This is great news for teens and their parents, who hope to see their children continue to grow and learn. In Arkansas, a minor can begin to work at the age of 14 with an approved employment certificate or work permit. This employment certificate is required for all minors under the age of 16, must be issued by the Director of the Department of Labor, and must be kept on file by the employer. Click here for more information on teen labor laws in Arkansas.

Applying For a Work Permit in Arkansas

To begin the process of obtaining an approved employment certificate, the minor should obtain the “Application for Employment of a Minor”. The form is accessible online, and a link is provided below. The process for a minor to acquire a work permit in Arkansas is straightforward. Those aged 14 and 15 should take the following steps to obtain their approved employment certificate:

  1. Obtain a copy of the “Application for Employment of a Minor”. You can access the form by clicking here and then on “obtain a work permit”.
  2. The minor should have their parent, guardian or custodian complete Section 2, which includes their address, minor’s birthplace and date of birth, as well as their willingness for the minor to be employed.
  3. The minor should seek work with an employer who is willing to complete Section 3, which is the “Intention to Employ”. This information is required or the permit will not be issued. This section includes information on the type of job the minor will be hired for, the number of days per week and the expected start and end times each day.
  4. Proof of age must be attached to the application. The following can be used for proof of age: birth certificate, driver’s license, state or federal i.d. card, or notarized copy of school record listing the minor’s name and date of birth.
  5. The application should be mailed to the Arkansas Department of Labor, Labor Standards Section.
  6. The parent/guardian, minor AND employer must all sign the application.
  7. If approved, the employment certificate will be issued by the Director of the Department of Labor.

Transferring Work Permits in Arkansas

The approved employment certificate is valid only for the employer that is listed on the approved certificate. Should the minor decide to seek other employment, a new approved employment certificate must be obtained. The approved employment certificate does remain valid should a minor leave the job and then return to the employer and resume the same work.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Arkansas

An employer will have to work with the minor on completing the “Application for Employment of a Minor”. In addition, the employer has the following responsibilities in regards to employing a minor:

  1. The employer may not allow the employee to begin working until the employer has received an approved employment certificate.
  2. The employer must keep a copy of the approved employment certificate on file where it is readily accessible to the Arkansas Department of Labor, the Arkansas Department of Education, and local school officials.
  3. The employer must keep the certificate on file while the minor is employed as well as for a period no less than three years after the minor leaves their employment.
  4. The employer must follow Arkansas law in regards to employment times for minors, the details of which are noted on the “Application for Employment of a Minor”.

The responsibility of employers when hiring minors is straightforward, however it is a process and will take some time to complete. Minors aged 14 and 15 should factor the time it will take to receive an approved employment certificate when deciding when to begin their job search.  This should also be kept in mind when minors are considering seeking employment somewhere new, as they will need to obtain a new approved employment certificate.