Applying for an Employment Permit

With very limited exceptions, minors under the age of 14 may not be employed. All minors under the age of 18 must complete an employment permit application and obtain the permit before starting a new job. Applications for employment permits are available for download on the website for the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Department of Labor Standards . You may also access these forms (in multiple languages) from the right hand column.

For minors who are residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, permits are issued by the superintendent of schools for the municipality in which the minor lives or attends school - either is acceptable. If the minor resides outside the Commonwealth, the permit is issued by the superintendent for the municipality where the minor's job will be located.

A minor cannot be granted a permit unless the specific employer, work address, and job description have been provided.

Employer Responsibility

The employer must keep the original permit on file at the place of employment as long as the minor is employed at that location or until the minor reaches the age of 18.

If the minor's employment is terminated, voluntarily or otherwise, the employer must return the permit to the superintendent's office within two days of the termination. If and when the employer returns the permit, there is not a law that specifies any requirements for maintaining permits. Typically, most schools keep them on file until the minor turns 18.

Permits are valid as long as the minor holds the job or until he or she reaches the age of 18. At that time, the minor no longer needs documentation and the permit and copies may be destroyed.

Minors who are no longer students are covered by the child labor laws in the same way that students of the same age are covered.

Transferring Permits

Minors cannot transfer a permit given for one job to another job. The process must begin again, even if the employer is the same but the work location has changed. An employer who wishes to employ a minor at more than one location must keep a permit on file at each business location.

However, a minor does not have to apply for a new employment permit at the beginning of the school year if they have the same job.