Trenton – In response to the difficulty minors are having securing working papers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Labor Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Nellie Pou to modify the process f0r minors to obtain such papers.
“Currently, workers under the age of 18 must provide working papers from their school to their place of employment in order to legally be allowed to work,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “However, with many schools closed for in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this process has become more difficult, greatly affecting adolescents that are seeking employment. This bill will ease the process so that minors can begin the process of working at a quicker rate.”
The bill, S-3115, would waive the requirement for physical presence for a minor to obtain working papers in a state of emergency or public health emergency. Under the bill, the requirement may be fulfilled using audio-visual technology, and the school district would be required to develop a process for the documentation to be transferred electronically.
“Allowing minors to work not only teaches them how to be financially responsible, but provides them the opportunity to learn valuable life skills that will be necessary later in life,” said Senator Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this opportunity was taken away from many adolescents, because they have been unable to obtain the proper working papers. With this bill, more minors will be able to work, allowing them to save up for college, a car, or to assist their families financially.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.