BY: Citizens Count
New Hampshire legislators have proposed two 2016 bills that would allow youths under age sixteen to work with just a parent's permission.
Right now state and federal laws allow those under age sixteen to work if they obtain a certificate from a school principal. The principal must certify that the youth has satisfactory academic performance. A youth does not need an employment certificate if he or she works on a farm or works directly for his or her parents.
Rep. JR Hoell is sponsoring a 2016 bill that would allow a signed and notarized document from a parent or guardian to replace the certificate. Rep. Gregory Hill is sponsoring a bill that would move the power to issue certificates from the school principal to the parent.
Supporters of the current certificate process note that the vast majority of states require a certificate from a school principal or the state Department of Labor. They argue that involving a school principal makes it less likely that employment will interfere with a youth's education.
Opponents of the current certificate process argue that school principals should not have the authority to decide how youth spend their time outside of school hours. They also argue that parents best understand the needs and capabilities of their children.