The legal restrictions applicable to the hiring of minors in the dental office are the same as for the employment of minors in any other work setting. Specifically, Section 103.67, Wis. Stats., requires minors between the ages of 14 and 18 to obtain a work permit before they can be employed.1

Work permits are almost always obtainable at the minor’s school.

If not, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development can provide the location of an office in your area where you can obtain the work permits. The minor must present the following when applying for a work permit:

  • Proof of age – birth certificate, baptismal record, driver’s license or state-issued identification card.
  • A letter from the employer stating the intent to employ the minor along with a description of job duties, hours of work and time of day the minor will be working.
  • A letter from the minor’s parent, guardian or court-ordered foster parent (while the minor is under their care) consenting to the employment. As an alternative, the parent, guardian or foster parent may countersign the employer’s letter.
  • Social Security card.
  • The statutory permit fee of $5. The employer is required to pay the permit fee.
  • If the minor advances the fee, the employer must reimburse the minor no later than the minor’s first paycheck.
  • The address of the school the minor attends or name of the school district.

You may not permit minors to work during hours they should be attending school (unless they have already graduated).

As the employer, you are also required to maintain a copy of the minor’s work permit on your premises.

1 Section 103.67(2) (g) contains an exception allowing minors at least 12 years of age or older to work under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian in connection with the parent or guardian’s business, trade or profession.

This would allow a dentist’s child to work in the dental office prior to reaching age 14, but does not eliminate the need to obtain a work permit.