Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
Getting a work permit can be your first step towards a new level of financial independence and freedom, but the process can be a little confusing if you have never done it before.
Fortunately for you, we have everything you need to know to get started, and ensure that you are in a strong position to start working legally, and kick off your working life.
When Do I Need A Work Permit?
Any individual who is under the age of 16 in the state of Georgia will be required to obtain a work permit if they are planning to work part-time in a company – this is a change to previous legislation, which required workers aged 16 and 17 to receive a permit.
There is no minimum age requirement to start work in Georgia, though the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (known as the FLSA) does set a limit of 14 for the majority of work that is considered to be non-agricultural.
For perspective, around 80% of all students in Georgia are believed to work at some point during their high school years.
There are a number of jobs and roles that minors are not permitted to hold in the state, even if they are in possession of a work permit, and these include:
- Loading or unloading a commercial vehicle
- Manufacturing, processing or operating heavy machinery
- Any type of construction
- Handling of explosives
- Serving alcoholic beverages
- Working in logging or milling
- Working with radioactive substances
What Do I Need To Apply For A Work Permit?
The application for a work permit can be completed online, and there are a few items that you will need to have to hand (some of these will be obtained as you go through the process):
- Social Security number or Parent Alien Certificate number
- Work Permit Data Sheet
- Minor security key
To start the application process, head online to the relevant form, select the option for “minor”, and complete Section A.
Enter your Social Security number or Parent Alien Certificate number and date of birth, and then hit “Submit”.
You will then need to fill in a range of questions, including your name and the name of your parents, and your address.
When you hit “Submit” this time, you will receive a Minor Security Key (MSK), and this will be ten characters long, as well as accessing the Work Permit Data Sheet – print this off, ready to take to your future employer.
At this point, your employer will complete the relevant portion of the form, and return the data sheet to the minor, with both sections now completed.
Then, the minor takes the sheet to the issuing officer – usually available at school. The superintendent of schools is also able to issue a work permit to minors.
The issuing officer then completes their section, selecting the option to “Minor Initiated Permits” and entering the social security number and date of birth of the relevant minor.
The best and most appropriate date for the permit is then certified by the issuing officer, and it is their responsibility to ensure that all of the information that is included on the form is accurate and correct.
This includes reviewing the birth registration card or birth certificate of the minor who is applying for the permit.
Once everything has been checked and approved, the issuing officer must then complete and print the “Completed Work Permit”, and this will be available to view by the issuing officer online for the next 30 days.
A copy is printed and given to the minor, and then the minor gives this to their employer, who is legally required to keep a copy on file.
It is important to note that any work permit that is issued will be for a specific, named employer, and a certain job.
Any new employment or role will require the acquisition of a new permit for the new business or work opportunity.
What Responsibilities Do Employers Have?
While the minor obviously has a number of steps to take before they can be issued their work permit, part of the responsibility also falls to the employer – they have a specific portion of the permit that they must complete before the permit can be issued.
The first step on their end is to find a minor who they wish to employ, and instruct them to begin the process.
When the minor brings the Work Permit Data Sheet for completion, the employer will be required to complete Section B, including their phone number.
They will also need to select the option to “Start New Employee” from the sheet, enter the Minor Security Key and the date, and complete the name and address of the employer – this is the physical location in which the minor will be working.
The industry and job duty also need to be selected from the options available on the dropdown menu, and a note made of the maximum hours to be worked by the minor over a single day, and a single week.
The earliest start time and latest end time will also need to be recorded – minors aged 14 and 15 are not allowed to work for over 4 hours on a school day (this is extended to 8 on a non-school day), and cannot work before 6am or after 9pm.
They are also not permitted to exceed a 40 hour work week while school is out. The name and title of the employer completing the form will also be recorded, and the form will then be submitted.
Once this is completed, the confirmation page is printed and kept, and a note is made of both the Minor Security Key and the newly generated Employer Security Key.
Once the issuing officer has played their part and completed Section C, the employer can then go back and print off the “Completed Work Permit”.
In the event that the job does not go ahead, or the contract is terminated for whatever reason, the work permit must be returned to the issuing officer, by the employer, within five days of the termination.
How Can We Help?
Acquiring a work permit as a minor can feel a little overwhelming, and it is important that everyone involved is protected and has their rights upheld.
Whether you are a minor or parent of a minor with concerns over your permit, an employer with questions over the process, or an issuing officer who would like more information, why not get in touch, and see how one of our employment experts can help you get started in the world of work.