Employment Certificates and Permits (Working Papers) Overview
If you are aged 14-17 you will need an employment certificate, also called working papers, in order to hold a job in New York State.
This rule covers:
- High school graduates
- Minors who work for their parents
- Minors who do industrial homework
Working papers are divided into two age groups (14-15 and 16-17):
14-15-year-olds - Your working papers are blue. If you are 14 and 15 years old, you are issued these working papers because you are not allowed to work in a factory.
16-17-year-olds (in school) - Your working papers are green. The difference between 14-15 year old working papers and 16-17 year old working papers is that you are allowed to work in a factory. You cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.
16-17-year-olds (out of school) - Your working papers are peach. If you are 16 to 17 years old and are not in school or are leaving school for full time employment, you will need these working papers. You are allowed to work in a factory, cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, or clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.
Please visit the New York State Department of Labor for the most comprehensive information about obtaining working papers.
If you are aged 14-17 you will need an employment permit, also called working papers, in order to hold a specific occupation in New York State.
Employment certificates are valid for many types of employment. Permits are issued for a specific occupation. Generally, employment is illegal for minors under 14 years of age. The exceptions to this are for minors employed as newspaper carriers, or employed with a special farm work permit.
- Newspaper Carrier Permit - This permit is issued to minors from 11 to 18 years of age to engage in the occupation of delivering, or selling and delivering newspapers, shopping papers, and periodicals.
- Farm Work Permit - This permit is issued to minors from 14 to 16 years of age for farm employment. The permit is valid only when signed by the employer. A permit is not required for the employment of a minor over 16 years of age in farm service.
- Farm Work Permit - Special - This permit may be issued to a 12 year old minor for the hand harvest of berries, fruits, and vegetables. The minor must be accompanied by his parent or guardian, or the employee must have the written consent of the parent or guardian. Employers must sign the permit.
- Street Trade Permits - This permit is issued to minors from 14 to 18 years of age to engage in street trade occupations such as selling newspapers or periodicals, or for work as a bootblack.
Child Performer and Model Permits
Schools do not have the authority to issue permits for this purpose. All applicants for a Child Performer Permit should be directed to:
NYSDOL, DIVISION OF LABOR STANDARDS (Child Performer)
Tel. (518) 457-1942, Fax (518) 457-2731
Labor Standards Permit and Certificate Unit
State Campus, Bldg. 12, Room 266A
Albany, NY 12240