Whether you are new to the entertainment world or a seasoned veteran there are laws and regulations governing child labor across the country. In many states, the entertainment industry has special rules, laws, and permits necessary for minors to obtain and perform any work – paid or not. Laws vary from state to state but here are the basics. Be sure to check your state for laws that apply to you. You can do this via this link or visit your state’s government website for more information.
In order to obtain a work permit most states require a completed form from the child’s doctor, their school, as well as their birth certificate and social security information. It can take 2-4 weeks to get a permit so apply as soon as you think you want to be in the industry. If you are in a bind and need one immediately – some states like NY allow you to apply for a ONE TIME temporary permit that is good for 14 days. Don’t waste it though because once you use it, you loose it!
Bank Accounts & Trusts
For many permits you may also need to show proof of a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act Trust Account (UTMA) or a New York State Uniform Gift to Minors Act Trust (UGMA) account or a blocked “California Coogan” type account. This is easy to set up at your bank and is for you and the employer (if your child books a job) to deposit at least 15% of your child’s earnings.
Keep in mind there are regulations for how long your child can be on set based on age, and whether or not school is in session. There are laws regarding your child’s education and how many days a child can be away from school. Some productions require a tutor on set as well.
As the parent, it is your responsibility to be aware of these things because an agent, manager, or even the people on set or production may not be aware or be in compliance – especially if they don’t typically work with minors. Take the time to do the research and ask questions if something is unclear. Want to know if your state regulates entertainment and requires a child performer to get a permit? Search here to get started!
Here are a few quick links to the most popular states for entertainment work you can access info, and permit forms at the links as well:
- NY State Resources and Frequently Asked Questions
- New Jersey Child Labor Laws
- California State Entertainment Work Permits
- Georgia Child Labor and Entertainment Laws
- Illinois Child Labor Laws
- Texas Child Labor Laws
Have a question about child labor laws? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org