CHILD LABOR LAWS
When a film or television production has child actors, state regulations must be followed. Texas’ Child Labor Laws apply to all children under the age of 18 working in Texas, whether or not they reside in the state.
If you are employing a child under the age of 14 for more than two consecutive days during a school year, you must provide a tutor who has been certified to teach in Texas by the Texas Education Agency or the State Board for Educator Certification.
A detailed summary the Texas Child Labor Law is available on the Texas Workforce Commission’s website: www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/cllsum.html.
By California law, when a California employer takes a resident minor out-of-state, California Laws still apply.
CHILD ACTORS UNDER AGE 14: APPLICATION FOR CHILD ACTOR / PERFORMER AUTHORIZATION
Prior to employment, every child actor under age 14 must have an authorization of employment from the Texas Workforce Commission. To apply:
- Fill out the application form available from the TWC’s Labor Law Section.
- Attach a recent, 1½ inch x 1½ inch photo of the child.
- Include proof of age, such as a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- Have the application signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian.
After these steps are completed, the Texas Workforce Commission may then issue its authorization for employment in the form of an ID card. The card is valid until the child’s 14th birthday, unless the Texas Workforce Commission designates an earlier expiration date.
Application for Child Actor/Performer Authorization.
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILD ACTORS UNDER AGE 14
For a list of limitations on Employment of Child Actors under the age of 14, please refer to the “Limitations on Employment of Child Actors,” Section 817.33 of the Texas Child Labor Rules in the Texas Administrative Code.Additionally, please refer to the Texas Workforce Commission’s Child Labor Law portion of their website for further restrictions/limitations on employment.
EMPLOYMENT OF EXTRAS UNDER AGE 14
The Texas Workforce Commission may grant special authorization for children under age 14 to be employed as extras without the need for filing an application. The employer or their agent must meet the requirements outlined in the Texas Administrative Code.
For a list of requirements, please refer to the “Application Exceptions,” Section 817.32 of the Texas Child Labor Rules in the Texas Administrative Code.
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN AGE 14-15
Actors age 14-15 are not considered to be child actors, so the rules for child actors do not apply. But their employment is subject to Texas’ child labor laws. The Texas Workforce Commission’s website details the following:
- Hours of Employment for children age 14-15.
- Permitted Occupations for children age 14-15.
- Prohibited Occupations for children age 14-15.
Federal child labor law has stricter limitations than State of Texas law on hours of employment for children ages 14-15.
The U.S. Department of Labor has additional information detailing hours of employment, the Work Experience and Career Exploration Program and Work-Study Programs.
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN AGE 16-17
Actors age 16-17 are not considered to be child actors, but their employment is subject to Texas’ child labor laws. Neither the State of Texas or the federal government restricts hours of employment for children age 16-17.
- Texas Workforce Commission Website - Child Labor Law
- Texas Labor Code, Chapter 51 - Child Labor Law
- Texas Administrative Code - Texas Child Labor Rules
- United States Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Child Labor
- SAG-AFTRA - Young Performers
For more information on child labor laws in Texas, please contact:
John W. Best
Program Supervisor I - Child labor Investigations, Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Law Section Manager - Regulatory Integrity Division, Texas Workforce Commission