Working Papers

Working Papers

Why Do I Need Working Papers?

Working papers serve as your official employment certificate. Working papers were established to make sure businesses do not work you too many hours while you are in school and in the summer as well.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Get Working Papers?

You will need working papers if you are under 18 years old. 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 and What Do I Need to Get Them?

  • If you are in school, visit your middle school or high school health office and ask for an Application for a Work Permit. (You also can download a copy of the application by clicking this link)
  • 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 your middle school or high school's health office.
  • When buildings are closed and/or access is restricted due to the COVID-19 school closure, please MAIL your completed and signed application to Alyxandra Durso, a Guidance Office Specialist, Strough Middle School,  801 Laurel Street  , Rome, New York 13440. You can also scan and e-mail the completed and signed application to adurso@romecsd.org.
  • You will also 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. WellNow has been offering working paper physicals for $30 but they are encouraged to call to see if those are currently being offered due to the current COVID-19 epidemic.  Once the proper paperwork is completed, a nurse can call and schedule an appointment.  Appointments must be kept and transportation is not provided.  (You can download a copy of the necessary form the health official must complete by clicking this link).
  • You may be contacted via telephone to arrange a time obtain proof of age, such as your birth certificate, a state-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport, if necessary, via videoconference. 
  • Once the Application for a Work Permit is complete, the Certificating Officer will then complete the working card, sign it, and mail it to the minor. The minor should sign the card upon receipt. The requirement that the minor sign the card in the presence of the certificating officer is temporarily waived for the duration of New York’s COVID-19 school closures.

    Working Papers Tips

    Below is helpful information once you have your working papers and are on the job:

    • 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 middle school or high school health office 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).
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