Q. I am a small business owner. A 17-year-old who is not emancipated and has not graduated from high school recently approached me seeking full-time employment. She claims that, because she is home-schooled, she can work full-time year-round and does not have access to a work permit from her school. Can I legally hire this minor without the school certificate required by Ohio law?
A. Ohio’s child labor laws go hand in hand with the laws regarding compulsory school attendance for school-age children. Under the law, children are permitted to be home-schooled only if the superintendent of schools approves the home-schooling program. It is also the superintendent’s responsibility to issue the schooling certificate required by Ohio for minors to be legally employed.
Although there are specific exceptions to the generally applied rule that minors of school age cannot be employed without a proper age and schooling certificate, there is no such exception for minors who are home-schooled. Therefore, hiring this minor for full-time employment without an age and school certificate would appear to violate Ohio law.
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