With the advent of summer, many employers hire high school youth as seasonal employees. Effective May 3, 2021, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Bureau, a division of the North Carolina Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its process for obtaining the necessary certificates for employing workers under the age of 18. Youth employment certificates, commonly referred to as work permits, are required for teen workers and are designed to alert such workers, their parents or guardians, and their employers of certain prohibited jobs and hour limits for youth employees. Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson stated that the new procedure is intended to streamline the process and “to better ensure that our state’s young employees end up working in safe and acceptable jobs.”
Teens under 18 years of age and older than 13 years of age are permitted to work in most office settings or in retail and foodservice establishments. However, they may not work in processing, mining, or in workplaces in which goods are manufactured because of the hazardous nature of the work being performed. If an employer has an on-premises ABC permit, teens between the ages of 14 and 16 may only work on the outside grounds with the written consent of a parent or guardian so long as the youth is not involved in the preparation, serving, dispensing, or sale of alcoholic beverages. As an example, DOL states that a 14- or 15-year-old may work at the tennis courts or the golf course of a private club but is not permitted to work as a server or busboy if alcohol is served inside the premises.
The process for obtaining the necessary signatures for such permits has been streamlined by enabling registrants to electronically sign applications located on the NCDOL website for youth employment certificates. Overall, the application process involves four steps, each of which generates an email that prompts the next step. Permits must be signed by the youth, by the parent or guardian, and by the employer prior to commencing employment.
The certificate must be retained by the employer for a period of three (3) years after the youth turns 18 or separates from employment. It is not necessary to mail the completed certificate to the DOL.
If you have questions about the North Carolina youth employment certificate process or any other employment-related matter, please call Connie Carrigan at (919) 250-2119 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connie Elder Carrigan is an accomplished Employment Law attorney with a passion for helping clients, individuals, employers, and business representatives in planning for their future - from creating initial documents for a new company to advising on compensation, harassment and discrimination, and employment agreements - to estate planning, Connie advises clients with shrewdness and prudence backed by over three decades of experience.