Child Labor Laws in Texas
This summary is not a complete text of child labor laws in Texas, nor is it written in the exact language of the law. It is intended as an informal educational tool for filmmakers.
A detailed summary is available on the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) website at www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/cllsum.html.
Texas’ child labor laws apply to all children under the age of 18 working in Texas, whether or not they reside in the state.
NOTE: By California law, when a California employer takes a resident minor out-of-state, California laws apply. In addition to the child labor laws, specific laws apply to employment of child actors under age 14, children under age 14 working as extras, children age 14-15 and children age 16-17.
Table of Contents
- Child Actors Under Age 14 - Application for Child Actor/Performer Authorization
- Employment of Child Actors Under Age 14
- Employment of Children Age 14-15
- Employment of Children Age 16-17
- Additional Online Resources
- Further Information
Child Actors Under Age 14 - Application for Child Actor/Performer Authorization
Prior to employment, every child actor under age 14 (except those working as extras; see below) must have an authorization of employment from the TWC. To apply:
- fill out the application form available from the TWC’s Labor Law Section (in Texas, call 800-832-9243; outside Texas, call 512-475-2670);
- 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; and
- have the application signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian.
The TWC 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 TWC designates an earlier expiration date.
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.
Extras Under Age 14:
The TWC 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 TWC’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.
NOTE: Federal child labor law has stricter limitations than State of Texas law on hours of employment for children ages 14-15.
For further information, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s website detailing hours of employment, the Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP) and Work-Study Programs (WSP).
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.
Additional Online Resources
- 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:
Labor Law Section Manager
Texas Workforce Commission
Regulatory Integrity Division