If a California employer hires people who are under the age of 18, there are certain rules that must be adhered to be in compliance with state labor laws. Employment of minors can be tricky and a violation can be a major problem for the employer. One factor that must be taken into account is the school attendance requirements for child labor.
When minors between the ages of six and 15 are employed, they are required to attend school on a full-time basis unless the minor has already graduated from high school, is attending an alternative school that has been approved of, is taught by a tutor, is on a leave of absence that has been approved, has transferred from a school that had fewer than ten days remaining in the school year, or has a justified reason that the parent has requested and it has been approved by the principal. Some 14 and 15-year-olds will be allowed to enroll in a Work Experience Education program and therefore be allowed to work on a full-time basis during school hours.
For people who are 16 and 17 and have yet to graduate from high school or have yet to receive a certificate stating their proficiency, they can choose to attend classes on a part-time basis. A regularly employed underage person of this age must take part in continuation classes for a minimum of four days each week. It is illegal for a minor to drop out of school completely. If a student has an entertainment work permit or is taking part in a non-profit arts organization in a performance that is for the public school audience, the absences can be excused.
Some jobs might coerce the underage employee not to adhere to these laws with the threat of job loss used as a weapon. There could be other reasons why a violation is taking place and the employee could be victimized by not knowing what the laws mandate. This could be the basis to file an employee classification lawsuit. Speaking to an attorney can help with considering a case.
Source: dir.ca.gov, “California Child Labor Laws — 2. School Attendance Requirements, page 1,” accessed on Oct. 17, 2016