How to Get a Work Permit in Minnesota

Getting a work permit in Minnesota 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 Minnesota.  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 Minnesota

The Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota, is the size of 78 football fields or 9.5 million square feet. This means plenty of retail jobs for youth residing in the surrounding area. Fortunately for minors in Minnesota, the minimum age for minors to be employed is 14.  Youth aged 14 and up looking for work in Minnesota will find the process to obtain a job pretty simple. For most minors, a work permit is not required. Only those aged 14 or 15 who are looking to work on school days during school hours must obtain a work permit, known in Minnesota as an employment certificate.  Otherwise, youth interested in employment in Minnesota simply have to look for a job. Employers do, however have to follow teen labor laws; click here for more information on teen labor laws in Minnesota.

Applying For a Work Permit in Minnesota

In Minnesota, work permits are only required for minors aged 14 and 15 who are looking to work on school days and during school hours.  Work permits in Minnesota are called “employment certificates” and should a minor aged 14 or 15 be seeking to work during the school day, they should follow the process below to obtain one:

  1. First the minor should find employment and request a signed statement from the employer with information on the type of work to be performed, and the hours the minor would work.
  2. The minor must then request an employment certificate from an issuing officer (school district superintendent, an agent of the superintendent, or another individual who has been designated by the Board of Education.
  3. The employment certificate will only be issued for a particular position with a specific employer. The issuing officer will review the signed statement from the employer regarding the work to be performed and the hours to be worked. An employment certificate will not be issued for an occupation that is prohibited for minors.
  4. The parent or guardian of the minor must consent to the employment and the issuing officer must feel comfortable that the minor is physically capable of handling the job and that the best interests of the minor will be served by allowing the minor to work during school hours.

Transferring Work Permits in Minnesota

Employment certificates are for a particular position with a specific employer. Should a minor aged 14 or 15 decide to obtain a new position where they would work on school days during school hours, they would need to obtain a new employment certificate.

Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Minnesota

Employers in Minnesota who are seeking to hire minors under the age of 18 only have to require a work permit or employment certificate should the minor be aged 14 or 15 and working during school hours. Should that be the case, the employer would need to provide a signed statement with information regarding what the minor will be doing, and the hours they would work. Once an employment certificate has been approved, the minor can begin working during school hours.  Should the employment of the minor terminate, the employer is required to return the certificate to the issuing officer with the date that employment was terminated.

While employers in Minnesota do not have to obtain work permits for the majority of minors employed, those who are aged 14 and 15 and seeking to work during school hours must have an employment certificate prior to doing so. Employers in Minnesota must follow teen labor laws for the youth they employ up to age 18.