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Each state has child labor laws to protect children and ensure that employers don't take advantage of them. Nebraska’s child labor laws govern the process through which that state's minors are legally permitted to work. For children under 16, an employment certificate (a minor’s work permit) is required. Even with this certificate, Nebraskans under 16 may not work during school hours or past midnight, cannot work more than eight hours in one day or 48 hours in a week. In most cases, it is a misdemeanor for an employer to violate child labor laws.
Bring the child and an original copy of your child's birth certificate or passport to the superintendent of the child’s school district. Explain that your child wishes to work and that you need an employment certificate. The superintendent will verify your child’s birth date and examine her school records--state law requires that minors pass the sixth grade to be eligible for a work permit.
Ask the superintendent for an employment certificate form and fill it out. Required information includes your child’s date and place of birth, description (hair and eye color, height, weight and other distinguishing characteristics). The school superintendent will mail three copies of the form to the state Department of Labor. The labor department will review the application and, if it meets state requirements, issue a certificate. The department will keep one copy, the superintendent will keep a second and the child gets the the third.
Take a copy of the employment certificate to the child’s prospective employer. If your child gets a job, make sure that her work schedule does not conflict with her studies or go against any other state requirements.
If you do not have the original copy of your child's birth certificate and if you have no other way of verifying your child's age (such as with a passport or a religious certificate), then you must get a certified copy of the child's birth certificate. These may be obtained by contacting a Nebraskan Vital Records Office during normal business hours.
Nebraska employment certificates are valid for one year and applicable to only one employer. If a child switches jobs, the child must obtain a new employment certificate.