California is known for being the film capital of the United States. As such, there is a special need for laws and regulations for the entertainment industry, specifically those pertaining to child labor. It is up to the state to create laws that will ensure the safety and well-being of children who are working in film, television and other areas of the entertainment industry.
According to the Department of Industrial Relations, hour and wage laws for children in this industry are a little different than the standard laws for child labor. The hour laws are based on the age of the child and include stipulations for how many hours they are allowed to be on set. In addition, these hours also relate to when school is in session and when it is not.
During the school year, children who are age 16-18 are allowed to be on set for 10 hours a day but may only work for six hours. Those ages 9-16 can be on set for a total of nine hours and work five hours. Children ages 6-9 can work for four hours and be on set for eight. Those that are ages 2-6 can be on set for six hours and work up to three. From ages six months to two years, a child can work only two hours and be on set for four. Under six months, a child is restricted to being on set for only two hours and can only work for 20 minutes. When school is not in session, the hours a child is allowed to work are extended. However, the total time allowed on set is not extended.
As for wages, minors must be paid the state minimum wage and follow all laws regarding overtime pay if they are not a professional actor. If they are a professional actor, then these laws do not have to be followed. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.