How to Get a Work Permit in Pennsylvania
Getting a work permit in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania. 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 Pennsylvania
Hershey, Pennsylvania, is considered to be the chocolate capital of the United States. Chocolate is just the kind of treat that many teenagers enjoy and earning money is appealing to be able to do so. In Pennsylvania, the minimum age for minors to be employed is 14. All minors under the age of 18 seeking employment in Pennsylvania will need to obtain some sort of work permit, also called an employment certificate.
There are several different permits that one can seek based on the age and circumstances of the minor. In addition to the work permit, minors aged 14 and 15 will also have to provide a completed “Parental Acknowledgment of Minor’s Duties and Hours of Employment” form. Employers have to follow teen labor laws; click here for more information on teen labor laws in Pennsylvania.
Applying For a Work Permit in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, work permits, or employment certificates, are required for all minors seeking to obtain employment. There are several types of work permits: general employment certificates (for minors aged 16 and 17 that allow for them to work during the whole year), vacation employment certificates (allows the minor aged 14 and up, to work anytime except when the minor is required to be in school), and transferable work permits (for minors aged 16 and 17 and valid for the entire time the minor is eligible for work through age 18). A minor in Pennsylvania seeking any of these three options should follow the process below:
- The application for the employment certificate or transferable work permit is to be made by the parent or guardian of the minor for whom it would be for. The minor must appear with the parent or guardian in order for the employment certificate or work permit to be issued.
- ThTThe minor and their parent or guardian will seek the employment certificate from their public school district. Depending on the district, there may be an issuing officer at the high school where they attend (the principal or a school official who has been authorized to issue certificates and work permits), or they can seek the employment certificate or work permit from the district superintendent or the secretary of the board of school directors.
- ThTWhen applying for the employment certificate or transferable work permit, the minor and their parent or guardian must bring the following:
- For the general employment or vacation employment certificate, it is necessary to provide a signed statement from the potential employer noting that they plan to hire the minor, explaining the work they will be responsible for, and the number of hours per day and per week the minor will work. The employer information is not required for the transferable work permit. This can be completed by filling out section C on the Application for Employment Certificate or Transferable Work Permit.
- Proof of physical fitness by a physician or certified nurse practitioner (Section D can be completed on the Application for Employment Certificate and Transferable Work Permit).
- Proof of age for the minor. Proof of age can be any one of the following: birth certificate, baptismal certificate or passport.
- The issuing officer will issue the general employment certificate, vacation employment certificate or transferable work permit. The minor will sign the certificate in front of the issuing officer. For the general and vacation employment certificates, the minor will bring a copy of the certificate to the employer who offered to hire them. For minors with a transferable work permit, the minor will be able to provide this to a potential employer as they search for a position.
Transferring Work Permits in Pennsylvania
Employment certificates are for a particular position with a specific employer. Transferable work permits can be utilized for any employer and is valid until the minor turns 18.
Employer Responsibility With Work Permits in Pennsylvania
When hiring minors, employers in Pennsylvania must obtain a copy of the minor’s employment certificate or view their transferable work permit prior to the minor beginning work. Should the employment of the minor terminate, the employer is required to return the employment certificate to the issuing officer with the date that employment was terminated. Should the minor have a transferable work permit, should employment terminate, the employer must notify the school district that issued the permit that they are no longer employing the minor. Employers in Pennsylvania have the following responsibilities regarding work permits:
- The employer must inform the official that has issued the employment certificate that they, the employer, have received the employment certificate of the minor. This must be done within five days of the minor starting their employment.
- Should the minor of a transferable work permit, the employer will provide the following information in writing to the school district that issued the permit: permit number, name and age of the minor, the number of hours (per day and week) that the minor will be employed, and a description of the work they will be doing.
- When the employer hires minors with transferable work permits, they must keep a record of the minors at the place of work. The record must include the following for each minor: the name of the school district issuing the permit, the minor’s birth date, the date the permit was issued, the permit number, and the occupation of the minor at the place of employment. The employer may make a photocopy of the transferable work permit as a record, as long as the employer includes the information about the work the minor is performing.
- The employer must post and keep posted a printed abstract from the Department of Labor regarding the hours minors can work in a place where all employees can see it. The employer must also keep a list of all minors that are employed, and the hours each minor is scheduled to work. The schedule of hours should contain the most hours that the minor is allowed to work on each day of the week, along with a total for the week, the hours that the minor will start and stop work, and the time that the minor will start and stop their meal break each day of the week. The minor may start work after the start time noted on the schedule, and end before the end time noted on the schedule, but cannot work before the noted start time or after the noted end time.
- The employer must make employment certificates, transferable work permits and lists available for inspection.
- The employer must follow all child labor laws.
- Should employment terminate, the employer must return the employment certificate to the issuing officer with the date that employment ended. Should the minor have a transferable work permit, the employer must contact the school district that issued the permit within five days of employment terminating, to let them know that they are no longer employing the minor.
Employers in Pennsylvania must be provided an employment certificate or transferable work permit when hiring minors under the age of 18. Fortunately, the process when hiring minors is clear, and should not limit minors who are seeking to be employed.