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Working Papers

Working Papers
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Who needs working papers in NYS?

If you are aged 14-17 you will need an employment certificate, also called working papers, in order to hold a job in New York State. 

Working papers are divided into two age groups (14-15 and 16-17):

14-15-year-olds - Your working papers are blue. If you are 14 and 15 years old, you are issued these working papers because you are not allowed to work in a factory.

16-17-year-olds (in school) - Your working papers are green. The difference between 14-15 year old working papers and 16-17 year old working papers is that you are allowed to work in a factory. You cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.

16-17-year-olds (out of school) - Your working papers are peach. If you are 16 to 17 years old and are not in school or are leaving school for full time employment, you will need these working papers. You are allowed to work in a factory, cannot work around certain machines, do construction work, help on a motor vehicle, or clean, oil, wipe, or adjust belts on machinery.

 

Where Do I Get My Working Papers?

If you are in school, go to your guidance office and ask for a working papers application. If you are not in school, go to the nearest school by where you live because they are required to give you the application.

Fill out the application and have your parent or guardian sign the application.

When you have filled out the working papers application and had your parent or guardian sign it, you have to take it back to the school's guidance office.

What Do I Need to Get My Working Papers?

You will need to have had a doctor's exam within the last 12 months saying you are physically fit. A physical given at a school for sports will count for your physical exam. If you are not sure where you can get a physical, ask your guidance office or call your doctor.

You will also need official identification o that you can provide proof of age, such as your birth certificate, a state-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport. Below is information on how to obtain important documents if you do not have them.

Other Important Info

  • When you turn 16, you will need to go from your 14-15 year old working papers (blue) and get your 16-17 year old working papers (green). Go to your guidance office of your school or nearest school to update your working papers.
  • Before you start work at a new job, you must give your employer the blue, green or peach employment certificate. Employers are not allowed to accept photocopies of your working papers. If you lose your working papers, you will have to go back to the school and ask for a duplicate (copy) to be issued to you.
  • At the end of a job, the employer must give your working papers back to you. You can use them on your next job (if you are still the right age for the certificate). If the employer does not return your working papers, you can ask the school to issue you a duplicate (copy).