Work Permits

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Work Permits during Covid-19

You may have heard that the Governor signed an executive order that changes some of the work permit requirements during the state of emergency. This email is to bring you up to speed on the changes, so that you can communicate them to people contacting you for assistance. Please keep in mind that these changes are all temporary and we will return to our prior practices after the state of emergency is lifted.

The Executive Order does the following:

  • Waives the requirement that new employees under age 16 obtain a work permit prior to starting employment.
  • Instead, employers can send information to our work permit email box This information includes
    • An attestation that they have reviewed the minor's proof of age and social security documents (but employers should not send us copies of these documents);
    • The offer letter from the employer, and;
    • The permission letter or countersignature from the parent or guardian.
  • ERD will decline to enforce the permit requirement during the state of emergency.
  • Employers will have 30 days after the state of emergency to acquire permits for all workers and to pay all applicable fees.
  • The order does not change the current legal requirements for hours per day or time of day, nor does it make any change to prohibited or hazardous employment rules. We will continue to enforce these rules during the emergency.

The Equal Rights Division will follow up with employers after the state of emergency has been lifted. This will likely include a mass email that will remind them that they have 30 days to acquire work permits for the minor employees.

If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone or by email.


Matthew White
Director, Bureau of Investigations
Equal Rights Division
Department of Workforce Development
Fax: 608-267-4592


Work permits for middle school students can be obtained through the Student Services Office at KMS. Please see the information below:

Minors must be at least 14 years of age to be employed in most jobs.


The exceptions to this are jobs in agriculture, street trades jobs such as delivering newspapers, work in school lunch programs and as golf course caddies. For these jobs, they must be at least 12 years of age. In addition, minors at least 12 years old may work in a business owned by their parent as long as it involves doing work which is not prohibited to minors who are older.

School Year (September - mid June):  Required work permit documentation must be received by 10:00am for same day processing. If documentation is received after 10:00am, work permits will be processed the next school day. 
Summer (mid June - August): Summer hours may vary, so it is best to call ahead for staff availability and building hours. In most cases, work permits will be issued within 24-48 hours. 
Contact person: Sherrie Prest at 829-9538 or
Click the links below for more information: