Can a minor with a high school diploma or equivalent work full time in the state of California?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a minor with a high school diploma or equivalent work full time in the state of California?

I’m a 15 year old from Oakland, California and I recently took the
California High School Proficiency Exam. I was wondering if a minor
with a high school degree or equivalent could work full time. I
understand that there are certain occupational hazards such as heavy
machinery, alcohol, etc. but If I worked somewhere relatively safe
like Starbucks or McDonald’s, would it be possible for me to work full

Asked on July 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you have your diploma or equivalent and are NO LONGER REQUIRED TO ATTEND school, yoiu are effectively an adult for purposes of work hours in your state (CA)--you are not subject to the work hour limitations for minors. If you are still required to attend school, you are still subject to those limiations, where are summarized here:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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