Created: 07 July 2022
Effective immediately, the legislation (A422) allows 16- and 17-year-olds to work up to 50 hours a week — up to 10 hours each day — when they aren’t in school. It also updates the hours 14- and 15-year-olds can work — a total of 40 hours a week during the summer
The expansion of work hours gives teens an opportunity to earn more money and helps employers cope with a labor shortage that has led to increased wait times for customers at seasonal businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law, A-4222/S-2796, sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16) and Senator Vin Gopal (D-11).
The new law also changes the way teens will obtain work permits. Prior to the bill, teens could only obtain work permits through their school districts, with a signature from a school official who says the job won’t interfere with classes, and another from a parent or guardian.
Now minors will no longer need parental consent or anything from the school district to secure a work permit. Instead, the state Labor Department will create a centralized database for teens to register for work permits, which will be accessible to employers when interviewing potential employees.
While parental consent isn’t required, the teen’s parent or guardian will receive a notice within three days of the application being filed and can object to the permit within two weeks.
Although the teen summer work hours change takes effect immediately, revamping the antiquated working paper process will not be implemented until a year from now to give the Department of Labor and Workforce Development time to establish the new centralized data system.
Under the legislation, about $1 million is allocated to the Labor Department to create the database.