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New York Rules for Employing Minors

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in New York must conform with these state rules relating to the employment of minors.

An employer of a worker claiming to be between the ages of 18 and 25 who does not present an employment certificate must require from the worker, and must furnish upon demand to the commissioner or an authorized representative proof of age in the form of a driver's license or other documentation issued by a state or the federal government or a certificate of age issued by an employment certificating official.

Proof of age or a legible copy must be kept on file at the workplace.

A full-time employment certificate may be issued to a minor 16 or 17 years of age who is not attending day school or who declares his or her intention to leave day school for full-time employment. It is valid for work in or in connection with a factory or any other trade, business or service.

A full-time employment certificate also may be issued to a minor who is a graduate of a four-year high school, but if such minor is under the age of 16, the certificate generally will not be valid for work in or in connection with a factory.

A student general employment certificate may be issued to a minor 16 or 17 years of age who is attending day school. It is valid for work in or in connection with a factory or any other trade, business or service.

A student employment certificate may be issued to a minor 14 or 15 years of age who is attending day school. The certificate is valid for work in a trade, business or service, but generally not for work in or in connection with a factory.

Special Employment Certificates

Special employment permits are required for:

  • child performers and models (valid for a year from issuance, effective July 21, 2011)
  • children employed in street trades
  • newspaper carriers
  • farm workers

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