Georgia Youth Work Permit Rules

by Jennifer Mueller; Updated September 26, 2017
Hispanic boy working at garden center

Georgia child labor laws provide regulations for youth workers between the ages of 12 and 17. No child under the age of 12 can work for an employer in the state. The laws also limit the number of hours per day and per week minors from 12 to 15 years old can work. Georgia does not restrict the hours of 16- and 17-year-old employees.

Work Permit Process

Work permits can be obtained from the Georgia school the minor attends, or from the county superintendent of schools. The Georgia Department of Labor also provides the form online, but it must be printed and filled out by hand. Both the minor and the prospective employer must fill out sections of the form, which is then completed and approved by an issuing officer in the school system.

In addition to the work permit itself, the minor must present a certified copy of his birth certificate and a letter from a school administrator certifying he is enrolled in school and has good attendance before he can begin work.

Each work permit for minors 12 to 15 years old is only valid for the employer who fills it out. If that employment ends, the minor must get another work permit to work for someone else.

Hours for Minors Under 16

Georgia youth between the ages of 12 and 15 can only work three hours a day or 18 hours a week while school is in session. They can work full time when school is not in session, but they cannot work overtime.

Hours for Minors Under 18

Georgia law does not restrict the hours 16- and 17-year-olds can work. However, these teenagers still need a work permit regardless of whether they are married or have completed school. The work permit for minors 16 and older is an identification card stating they are eligible for employment, and is not limited to any particular employer or job.

Prohibited Work

Georgia youth 17 years of age and younger cannot work in hazardous occupations, defined by law as work that would endanger life and limb. These jobs include handling explosives, hazardous materials and power tools, or working in factories, mines or mills.

Minors cannot serve or take orders for alcohol consumed on the premises, such as at a restaurant. However, teenagers working at retail establishments such as grocery stores can handle and sell alcoholic beverages that customers are taking home with them.

Exemptions

Georgia's child labor laws apply to minors earning wages, but the hour restrictions do not apply to minors working for a parent or guardian who owns the business. Exceptions also apply for youth working in someone's house, such as babysitters. Georgia also provides no restrictions for minors working on farms beyond those required by federal law.

About the Author

Jennifer Mueller began writing and editing professionally in 1995, when she became sports editor of her university's newspaper while also writing a bi-monthly general interest column for an independent tourist publication. Mueller holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

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