California Child Labor Laws

Babies: Babies under six months old are limited to 1 period of 2 consecutive hours in any 1 day, either between 9:30 am and 11:30 am or between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. For babies 15 days to 6 weeks, 1 studio teacher and 1 nurse must be present for every 3 babies. For babies 6 weeks to 6 months, 1 teacher and 1 nurse must be provided for every 10 babies.

Blanket Permit: Blanket permits are issued for large groups of minors (i.e. marching band) for a specific production over a specific period of time.

Coogan Law: The Parents of principal talent are required to open a “Coogan” blocked trust account within 7 days of the start of employment. Employers are required to deposit 15% of gross earnings directly into the minor’s Coogan account in a timely manner. For more information on the Coogan Law, please visit:

Emancipation: Regulations are fully applicable to emancipated minors unless the emancipation document specifically exempts the minor from provisions of the Labor and Education Code.

Graduated Minors: Any minor who has graduated from high school, or has been awarded a certificate of proficiency, may be employed any hours as an adult, performing the same work. Studio teachers and work permits are not required.

Meal Period: The workday may not be extended by a meal period of longer than 1/2 hour.

Outside California: California employers who employ resident minors out-of-state, under contractual arrangements made within California must comply with all California regulations. Minors from out-of-state working in California must also adhere to California law.

Parent or Guardian: Must be within sight or sound of minor under 16 years of age at all times. 16-17-year-olds do not require a parent/guardian.

Permits: Permits are issued by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Permits may be denied, revoked, or suspended for any violation of the law (including discrimination against a studio teacher for performing authorized duties.

Permit to Employ Minors: Employers must obtain a Permit to Employ Minors. Applications must be submitted with a current policy of workers’ compensation insurance.

Ratio of Minors Per Studio Teacher: 10:1 on school days and 20:1 on non-school days.

Regular School Attendance and Work: If a minor attends regular or home school prior to reporting to work, the time spent in school will be considered 6 hours regardless of how long the child actually spent at school. 1 hour of R and R will be allocated to that 6 hour period. Example: a 9-15-year-old minor who attends regular school would be permitted on set for a maximum of 3.5 hours.

School On-Set: Educational instruction must be offered between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:00 pm for children in grades 1-6 and between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm for children in grades 7-12. Employers are to provide adequate facilities (i.e. a table and chairs, someplace where the child can study without being disturbed).

Split Calls/Two or More Jobs in One Day: Minors may work 2 or more jobs in 1 day. The combined total hours at all jobs, however, may not exceed the limits set forth by law. The last company employing the minor will be held responsible for assuring that the requirements have been met.

Studio Teachers: Employers must provide a studio teacher for the education of all minors up to 18 years. Additionally, studio teachers shall care and attend to the welfare of all minors 15 years of age or younger.

Teacher Certification: A studio teacher must hold 2 clear California teaching credentials. 1) A multi-subject k-12 (primary) and 2) A single subject (secondary) credential in English, math, social science, science, or a foreign language. Additionally, written examination and training will be required of the studio teacher by DLSE for final certification.

Travel Time: Travel between school/home and studio is not work time. However, studio to location counts as work time. When in a distant location up to 45 minutes (each way), travel from overnight lodging to worksite is not generally considered work time.

Turnaround: 12 hours must elapse between the minor’s dismissal time and the next day's call time or school start time. If the minor’s regular school starts less than 12 hours after dismissal time, the minor must be schooled the following day at the employer’s place of business.

Waivers: Neither studio teachers, parents, nor the DLSE is empowered to waive, at any time, under any circumstances, any minimum labor standard established in law or regulation.

Work Day: A minor may work between the hours of 5:00 am and 10:00 pm on nights preceding school days or 5:00 am and 12:30 am on nights preceding non-school days. Exception: With 48 hours advanced notice written approval from the DLSE minors age 8 - 17 may continue a performance starting before 10:00 pm up to 12:00 am preceding a school day. The turnaround rule must be observed.

Work Permit: California employment labor law states minors must have a current/valid Entertainment Work Permit which is valid for 6 months. Employers must have a Permit to Employ Minors form issued by the DLSE. Blanket permits may be issued for large groups of minors working for a limited period of time. Permits to employ may be denied, revoked, or suspended for any violation of the California employment labor law, including discrimination against a studio teacher for performing authorized duties. There is also a 10-day temporary entertainment work permit that is issued for new applicants only, between the ages of 15 days through 15 years old, for a fee. The permit is issued immediately after completion of the online application and payment of the fee. It cannot be issued immediately for minors between 15 days and one month old, due to the medical certification required.

Work Time: All time spent getting in and out of make-up, wardrobe, or hairdressing shall be considered time worked. If a minor is not called to the set but is called for a period up to 1 hour into hair/make-up, wardrobe, personal appearances, publicity, or audio recording when school is not in session, a studio teacher need not be present; however, parent/guardian presence is required.

Work Week: No more than six days of work in a seven-day period.