Total Talent Management

Employment of minors

Children between 14 and 17 years of age are minors and their employment is governed by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The regulations include specific requirements and limitations for hours of work, meals and rest breaks, and prohibited duties. Limited exceptions, such as for actors/performers, are possible for children under 14.

Hiring managers are responsible for being aware of and complying with the DOL standards and L&I child labor laws. Where U.S. Department of Labor and Washington State Department of Labor & Industries differ, the stricter standard applies.

UW students who are 16- and 17-year-old minors may work as permitted during school breaks, but they must adhere to the UW policy that limits their work to 19.5 hours maximum per week when school is in session.

Hiring process

Hiring a minor is the same as filling any other temporary hourly staff position and requires the following:

  1. Proof of age: Copy of birth certificate, driver’s license, baptismal record, etc.
  2. Job description: Must include equipment used, such as copiers, computers, power equipment, or vehicles.
  3. Work schedule: Must show earliest and latest work hours,
  4. Parent/School authorization form: signed by parent/guardian and high school for either summer work or school year work as outlined on the Labor & Industries How to Hire Minors webpage.
  5. Special Variance Form: For a 16- or 17-year-old high school student who wants or needs to work more than four hours a day and 20 hours per week, (up to maximum 28 hours), a special variance form is available from the student’s high school.
  6. Compensation: Must be paid at least the minimum for student hourlies or the Washington State minimum wage (if higher).

Employer’s work permit

The University maintains a general work permit exemption as a Washington state institution and public employer. UW departments do not need to apply for individual minor work permits.