State of California
Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
525 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
June 1, 1999
Re: Application of Holidays for Home School Minors Employed in the Entertainment Industry
Dear Ms. Businger:
The Labor Commissioner, Marcy Saunders, has asked me to respond to your May 4, 1999, request for a formal opinion as to what action a studio teacher must take when confronted with a home schooled minor or parent who maintains that he/she is on a holiday during a regular school day.
As you know, Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations 11760 sets forth the maximum allowable working hours for minors employed in the entertainment industry. For example, 11760(f) states in pertinent part:
Minors who have reached the age of sixteen (16) years but who have not attained the age of eighteen (18) years may be permitted at the place of employment for a maximum of ten (10) hours. Such ten (10)-hour period shall consist of not more than six (6) hours of work and at least three (3) hours of schooling when the minor’s school is in session, and one (1) hour of rest and recreation. On days when school is not in session, working hours may be increased to not more than eight (8) hours, with one (1) hour of rest and recreation.
The factual scenario of concern for studio teachers is as follows: If a public school holiday falls on any day during the week, children employed in the entertainment industry would be allowed to work additional hours as reflected in the regulation enumerated above. Home Schooled children are not subject to public schooled curriculums or holidays and are therefore free to choose their own holiday schedule. The problem arises when a home-schooled child proposes he/she is taking a holiday off during the week, when public schooled children are required to attend school. This allows the home-schooled child to ignore the maximum hours allowed for work on a school day and enables that child to work additional hours without requiring educational training. This places the studio teacher in an awkward position conducting two separate curriculums for children of the same age. Additionally, the home-schooled child would possess an obvious economic advantage to that of a publicly schooled child who must abide by the maximum work hours.
We do not feel allowing the home-schooled child to create his/her own holiday schedule would effectuate the intent of the regulation. The intent of the regulation is to provide established guidelines so studio teachers can be cognizant of the health, safety and welfare of the minor. Allowing a home-schooled child to choose at will his/hers own holiday schedule could create temptation for unscrupulous parents using a home-schooled curriculum as subterfuge to gain an economic advantage for their child. Also, this application would create compliance difficulties for the studio teacher, as well as, enforcement and accountability problems for those state employees directed to monitor and investigate studio teacher performance.
For the above reasons, studio teachers shall instruct minors who are home schooled, that they are subject to the same holiday schedules as the local school district where the child resides. The states interest in the health, safety and welfare of children necessitates a maximum hours worked policy, that when implemented creates the least amount of hindrance for studio teachers in carrying out their responsibilities of maintaining the education, mental and physical well being of children employed in the entertainment industry.
Additionally, your letter seeks confirmation in your belief that a child on the set must be taught by the studio teacher. This opinion letter confirms your belief. If a child is on the set, he/she must be taught and under the supervision of the studio teacher.
The long-standing policy of the Labor Commissioner maintains the health, safety, and welfare of children in the entertainment industry are optimum when monitored by a licensed studio teacher. The state’s compelling state interest in the education and safety of it’s citizens are best achieved under this historical enforcement policy.
I hope I have adequately answered the issues presented. Should you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned directly. Thank you for your ongoing interest in the development of California labor law.
Attorney for the Labor Commissioner
Last updated by Julie Stevens Jan 11, 2010.