Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 696 into law last week, streamlining the process by which minors can seek a work permit in Illinois. Youths under 16 years of age, along with their parents or legal guardian(s), can meet with school issuing officers remotely to obtain a Child Labor Certificate. The option was previously made available as an emergency rule during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 11,000 Child Labor Certificates have been issued to date. Regardless of whether the 14- or 15-year-old is working as a camp counselor, lifeguard or actor, a permit issued by the school is required.
“Making remote meetings a permanent option for families and school issuing officers for the purpose of getting a work permit makes sense. It goes beyond the lessons learned and rules put in place during the peak of the pandemic,” said Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik.
The remote process allows issuing officers to receive all required documents electronically, to meet with the minor and their parent or legal guardian(s) by video or conference call to confirm identification and obtain consent.
While remote applications will assist in streamlining the permit process, longstanding Child Labor Law protections continue to provide for specific time constraints on when students may not work, even when a work permit is granted, including:
• before 7 a.m.
• after 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1.
• after 9 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day.
• more than 8 hours on non-school days.
• more than 3 hours on school days.
• more than 24 hours during school weeks.
• more than 48 hours during non-school weeks.
• more than six days per week.
Additionally, there are dozens of jobs considered hazardous from which 14- and 15-year-olds are prohibited as outlined in the Child Labor Law here: Child Labor Law
You can find more information about child labor here: Child Labor Law FAQ