Federal rules and regulations (and California differences)

If the parent owns 100%: sole proprietorship’s and partnerships, the following applies to hiring the owner’s children:

  • Owner’s children can work any number of hours, regardless of their age.
  • Children under 16 cannot work near flammable or hazardous materials, do hazardous work (mow lawns, work sewing machines), or work where food is cooked.
  • If all employees are immediate family, the owner’s children do not need to be paid minimum wage.
  • Owner’s children under 21, their wages are exempt from  FUTA
  • Owner’s children under 18, their wages are exempt from FICA.

Others, under 18 working:

  • Need an age certificate recognized by the Dept of Labor AND the CA Wage and Hour Division
  • Cannot do hazardous work.
  • Workers 16-18 years of age may work:
    •  Any number of hours and days
  • Workers 14-15 years of age may work:
    • 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week
      • June 1-Labor day, when school is not in session
      • Between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
        • These limits do NOT apply for news carriers
        • or if employed by parent/sole proprietor
    • Agricultural jobs, contact the Dept of Labor.
  • Children under 14 can only work for a parent/sole owner

Employers, makes sure the following procedures are followed for every summer employee hired:

  • Get a W-4!  Owner’s children, foreign students and part time workers included.
  • Photocopy new hires’ Social Security Cards
    • Use SSA’s Social Security Verification Service to verify identifying information
    • Be sure to photocopy all SS Cards for W-2 purposes.
  • Withhold Federal Income Tax from all, unless W-4 claims exempt.
  • Withhold FICA, even from those receiving SS benefits
  • Pay overtime for actual hours worked over:
    • CA law is over 8 hours in one day
    • Federal Law is over 40 hours in the workweek
    • Paid holidays and vacations days do not count.
  • Paid holidays are optional for summer and part time help in the state of California. Check your state laws to confirm.
  • You are not required to pay vacation time.
  • Benefits are optional, but to exclude them, have a written plan stating which benefits are not available to these workers.
  • Be sure to report new hires to the appropriate state agency.

Don’t hesitate to call your State Labor Dept if you have ANY questions about your summer hiring practices!