Division of Regulation
"Work Permits" and/or "Working Papers" are not required in Florida and are not issued by either schools or a governmental agency in Florida. Unfortunately, many popular teen employers use applications with the request "If you are under 18, can you supply a Work Permit?" These applications are being used for businesses that have operations in other states that do require Work Permits. The question is not applicable in Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
These are the most frequently asked questions by teachers.
Schools who have an interest in learning more about Florida’s Child Labor Law may request training by contacting the Child Labor Program at 1.800.226.2536.
Work Site Agreements
Teachers involved in preparing "Work Site Agreements" for any of the cooperative education methodologies recognized through the Florida Department of Education, should access this site. The Florida Department of Education Cooperative Education Manual "STEPS" provides SAMPLE work site agreements. Each district has local policies that determine the forms they should use. The samples can be redesigned and/or used as appropriate for the district or program.
Waivers of the Law
Minors not working in the entertainment industry may apply for waivers through two methods, as detailed below.
Minors Enrolled in High School (K-12)
When minors are enrolled in the public high school system (K-12), either the minor’s public school superintendent or his/her designee has responsibility for issuing partial waivers. Schools have the authority to waive Florida Child Labor Laws only when it is in the best interest of the minor, but do not have authority to waive Federal law. Please note that employers are required to provide "Waivers" of the law to Child Labor enforcement staff during routine investigations to justify the minor working outside the normal work hour limitations.
The waiver itself may take several suggested formats:
A. The district "Work-site Agreement" is the most popular. It should outline the hours the minor will be at the work site, total hours of work and other work stipulations. It should be specific enough to clearly define the Child Labor Laws that are being waived, i.e. working during normal school hours (minor works from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.); more than 30 hours per week (minor approved to work up to 40 hour work weeks); or, working past 11 p.m. (minor may work until 11:30 p.m.).
Note: All students in an approved work-site relationship, where work-based learning is conducted at an employer's work-site, should have a "Work-site Agreement".
B. A letter from a school official on school letterhead that clearly defines those Florida Child Labor Laws that are being waived, i.e. working during normal school hours (minor works from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.); more than 30 hours per week (minor approved to work up to 40 hour work weeks); or, working past 11 p.m. (minor may work until 11:30 p.m.).
Note: This is most often used for students who are NOT ENROLLED in work-site learning experiences. It is recommended that schools establish criteria for approval that would include the following student information: (1) Grades; (2) Attendance; (3) Financial Hardship; (4) Medical Hardship; or (5) Court Orders.
Example: A senior student, who has only two classes in the morning and is released from school at 10:30 am, would like to begin work at 11:00 am. Based on the criteria above, the minor may be issued a waiver.
C. Districts may create their own standardized form (Waiver Application) using established criteria as outlined in Rule 61L-2.007(3), Florida Administrative Code: School Status; Financial Hardship; Medical Hardship; Other Hardship; or Court Order. These forms should clearly define those Florida Child Labor Laws that are being waived, i.e. working during normal school hours (minor works from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.); more than 30 hours per week (minor approved to work as many as 40 hour work weeks); working past 11 p.m. (minor may work until 11:30 p.m.) etc., and be in the best interest of the minor.
Note: In lieu of a letter, Districts may develop a standardized form that depicts the criteria used for approval and clearly defines the law to be waived.
Minors Not Enrolled in High School (K-12)
For minors who are no longer enrolled in the public high school system of K-12 programs, they are required to submit an "Application for Waiver of the Florida Child Labor Law," form FCL-1002 and supporting documentation to the Child Labor Program for approval. Minors who fall under this category include minors enrolled in home school; attending Adult-Ed or GED classes; private school; expelled students; and, dropouts who have a financial, medical or other hardship. Additional information on obtaining a waiver and/or forms may be obtained by going to the top of the page and keying on “APPLY FOR A LICENSE”. Double click the “Check here to” box. This will take you to the Application Center and the Child Labor applications.
Partial waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis, which means that each application is judged on its own merits. In order to qualify for a waiver, applicants must demonstrate that sections of the Child Labor Law need to be waived because of financial hardship, medical reasons, school status, or a court order. Only when it clearly appears to be in the best interest of the minor, will the waiver be approved.
Student Learner Exemptions
Both federal and state law allow the employment of minors aged 16 and 17 in the hazardous occupations listed below, when they are enrolled in approved, state or local training programs as outlined in Section 450.161, Florida Statutes.
1. In the operation of power-driven woodworking machines. H.O. 5; 29 CFR, Part 570.55.
2. In the operation of power-driven metal forming, punching, or shearing machines. H.O. 8; 29 CFR, Part 570.59.
3. Slaughtering, meat packing, processing, or rendering, except as provided in 29 CFR, part 570.61c. H.O. 10.
4. In the operation of power-driven paper products and printing machines. H.O. 12; 29 CFR, part 570.63.
5. Working on any scaffolding, roofs, or ladders above six feet. H.O. 16; 29 CFR, Part 570.67.
6. Excavation operations which include the operation of trenchers and earthmoving equipment. H.O. 17; 29 CFR, Part 570.68.
7. Operating or assisting to operate, including starting, stopping, connecting or disconnecting, feeding, or any other activity involving physical contact associated with operating, tractors over 20 PTO horsepower, or any harvesting, planting, or plowing machinery.
8. **Working on electrical apparatus or wiring.
9. Fork Lift: (Only in an agricultural setting or with non-FLSA covered employers)
Note: The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) does not allow an exception for student learners in Hazardous Occupation #7, which covers the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus in non-agricultural employment. Other equipment not permitted includes derricks, hoists and cranes. Employers may contact the USDOL at 1.866.487.2365 to verify they are covered under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).
** Annotates Florida Law only
Such student learner exemptions shall apply when the following conditions are met:
1. The student is enrolled in a state recognized training program.
2. The student learner is employed under written agreement which provides:
* That the work of the student in the occupation declared particularly hazardous shall be incidental to the training.
*That the work shall be intermittent and for short periods of time and under the direct supervision of a qualified and experienced person.
*That safety instruction shall be given by the school and correlated by the employer with the on-the-job training.
*That a schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job shall have been prepared.
Tips for Teachers
*Know the federal and state child labor laws.
*Discuss health hazards in the workplace and students' rights and responsibilities as workers.
*Ensure that school-based work experience programs provide safe and healthful environments.