Minors under 16 years old must obtain a work permit before beginning a job. This includes home-schoolers. They must get a new permit every time the begin a new job until the reach 16 years old, even if they work for their parents. In order to apply for a work permit, the minor must be:
- enrolled in school;
- not habitually truant or under suspension; and
- passing a majority of courses during the current grading period.
Employers must have a stamped, approved work permit on file before allowing any minor under 16 years old to work. Once the minor has the promise of a job, he or she must submit a completed work permit form along with proof of age to the office of the superintendent of schools. Parental permission is required to work. The superintendents office will submit the forms to the Maine Department of Labor. The Department will review the permit to ensure that the minor is of legal age to work at the business and that the occupation is not hazardous. If the permit is in order, the Department will validate the forms, keep one copy and return two copies to the superintendents office (one copy for the school, one for the employer).
The minor cannot work until the Department of Labor approves the permit, which can take up to one week. Permits are not transferable to other jobs or employers. A minor under age 16 needs a separate work permit for each place he or she works, and may only have one active permit during the school year and two during the summer.
Please visit the Maine Department of Labor website for more information.