California Child Labor Law

The child labor rules in California differ from those of other states, largely because of the motion picture industry. State laws governing child labor start at birth and regulate everything from the length of the workday to the amount of light a child can be exposed to.

Also, since California leads the nation in professional baseball teams, specific regulations govern the hours when batboys can work.

Minors under age 16 may not work more than eight hours during any 24-hour period or more than 40 hours in one week during summer vacation. During the school year, minors under age 16 may work only three hours on school days and no more than 18 hours a week.

With a few exceptions, 16- and 17-year-olds may work as much as eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. Their hours are restricted to after 5 a.m. and before 10 p.m. on school days.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement administers the child labor law. For more information, go to

Excerpted from California‘s 10 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: California Employment Law.