Our deepest thanks to Mark Stevenson, Director of Ohioans for Educational Freedom, for the use of this information. Please visit OEF to learn more about the work they do for Ohio families.
Questions are frequently raised by parents regarding the issuance of work permits for their minor (aged) children. The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of state statutes and regulations governing the employment of minors.
According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 4109.02 (A), “no minor of compulsory school age shall be employed by any employer unless the minor presents to the employer a proper age and schooling certificate as a condition of employment.” The age and schooling certificate here is more commonly referred to as a work permit. Exceptions to this requirement are listed in sections 4109.02 (B) and 4109.06. This chapter (4109) does not apply to the following:
- Summer employment: minors aged sixteen and seventeen employed after the last day of schooling the spring and before the first day of school in the fall in non-hazardous employment as defined by federal and state statute; such minors shall provide the employer evidence of proof of age and a statement of consent signed by the minor’s parent or guardian.
- Students who are working on a properly guarded machines in the manual training departments of any school under the personal supervision of an instructor.
- Students participating in a state vocational program.
- Minors participating in a play, pageant, or concert produced by an outdoor drama corporation, a professional traveling theatrical production, a professional concert tour, or as an actor in motion pictures, or in radio or television productions.
- Volunteer work for a charitable or religious institution.
- Minors who are employed by their parents.
- Minors engaged in the delivery of newspapers to the consumer.
- Minors who have received a high school diploma or certificate of high school equivalence.
- Minors who are currently heads of households or are parents contributing to the support of their children.
- Minors engaged in lawn mowing, snow shoveling, and other related employment.
- Minors employed in agricultural employment in connection with farms operated by their parents, grandparents or guardians where they are members of the guardian’s household.
- Minors who work in sheltered workshops operated by a county board of mental retardation.
- Minors performing volunteer services for nonprofit organizations.
The Ohio Revised Code then goes on to specify the hours and days to be worked. Please keep in mind that these requirements do not apply for minors who fall under the 13 points mentioned above.
If a home educated student is seeking employment outside the exceptions listed previously, how would he/she obtain an age and schooling certificate? Consider the following statute: Section 3331.01 (ORC) specifically states that an age and schooling certificate may be issued only by the superintendent of the school district in which the child resides and only upon satisfactorily proof that the student is at least sixteen years of age and has satisfactorily completed a vocational education or special education program adequate to prepare students for an occupation.
According to 3301.02 (ORC), the superintendent of schools shall not issue an age and schooling certificate until he has received, examined, approved, and filed the following papers:
a. The written promise of the person to legally employ the child to permit him to attend school as provided in section 3321.08 of the Ohio Revised Code.
b. The school record of the child.
c. Evidence of the age of the child.
d. A certificate from the school physician or physician designated by him showing that the child is physically fit to be employed.
Obtaining a regular age and schooling certificate may be a problem for home educated students simply because most of these students have not completed vocational education or special education programs as required by section 3301.01. For this reason, it may be practical for home educated students to seek a “part-time and vacation age and schooling certificate.” This type of certificate is described in ORC Section 3331.05. It states that a part-time and vacation age and schooling certificate may be issued to a child above fourteen years of age under all of the conditions other than age and education which apply to a regular certificate and such additional conditions as the superintendent deems necessary. The phrase “may be issued” suggests that the superintendent has the right to deny the application for the certificate.
As you can see, there are no easy answers to questions regarding obtaining work permits for home educated students. Certainly, the most convenient approach for our older children to earn income would be to determine under which exempted category he/she would gain employment prior to becoming eighteen years of age.
Used with permission from Ohioans for Educational Freedom.
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