Penalties for Incorrectly Employing a Minor

If you employ or permit underage minors to work in a prohibited occupation or hazardous duty — no matter how voluntary the act is on the part of the minor — you are liable for Class A penalties. For more information, see “Civil Penalties for Incorrectly Employing Minors” on this page. Even minors who regard themselves as self-employed cannot engage in these prohibited activities. Also, a client who permits a minor to engage in the prohibited activity is liable for Class A penalties. This type of liability also extends to underage employment in any of the federally regulated occupations adopted by California. For example, minors under 16 cannot be employed or permitted to work in occupations involving mining, manufacturing or processing or perform any duties in related workrooms.1 Minors under 14 cannot be employed or permitted to work in clerical or food service occupations.2

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