Q. Does my teen need a work permit to get a job? If so, how does he get one? Are there any hour restrictions for homeschooled teens in Virginia?
A. A 16-year-old in Virginia does not need to have a work permit in order to get a job. He may be employed in any job allowed by law that does not endanger the teen’s health and safety. He may work in many types of jobs—construction, auto repair, dry cleaning, manufacturing, radio and TV repair, printing, hospitals, hotels, theaters, warehouses, fairs and carnivals, etc.
Also, 16- and 17-year-olds have no restrictions on their hours of work. Due to health and safety concerns, however, certain occupations and job tasks are prohibited for teenagers. You can view more details on the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s website.
If a teen needs a work permit, it can be obtained from a local high school or possibly from a private school, even though he does not attend these schools. Your school board or Department of Social Services may also issue work permits, but call first. An official “issuing officer” must give you the permit.
Federal work regulations are the same for all teens whether they homeschool or go to a government school. I have personally lobbied on Capitol Hill for changes to work hours for homeschoolers, especially since homeschool students are not on a government school schedule. I hope we will see law changes in the future.
We have a comprehensive Q&A on teens and jobs on the HEAV website.