What are the wage laws for minors?

On behalf of Sullivan Law Group APC posted in wage & hour laws on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

If you have a child who will soon be working in the state of California, then you might want to become more familiar with the laws that guide the employment of minors. One area that is often overlooked is the wages. According to the Department of Industrial Relations, there are specific laws about wages for minors under the employment laws of the state.

In general, minors are entitled to pay the same as adults. That means they must be paid at least minimum wage. If they work overtime, they must be paid overtime wages, too. If your child works for an employer who falls under the federal wage laws, then he or she is paid according to them. However, since the federal minimum wage is lower than the state’s, pay is based on the state minimum wage.

In addition, if other workers who are adults are being paid a higher rate for the exact same position and work, then your child is entitled to those higher wages as well. However, as with adults, there are some exceptions. There are situations where an employer can pay the opportunity wage. This is a minimum of $4.25 an hour for the first 90 days on employment for workers under the age of 20. There are also occasions where an employer may pay your child 85 percent of the minimum wage. This applies to the first 160 hours worked and is generally for employees who are being trained on the job. This information is for education and is not legal advice.