I'm a homeschooled high-school sophomore, concurrently enrolled at a local community college taking advanced math classes. My Calculus instructor asked me to take a job as a supplemental instruction next year for his Calc 1 class, not knowing that I was in high-school. When I told him that I was still only 15 (I would be 16 by the time the job actually started), he said that he would try to figure out a way to make it work still, but after talking to the top person in the hiring chain, was told that I could not take the job before graduating high-school. When I asked if it was a school regulation, he said that it was California state law that prohibited me from taking the job.

This seems strange to me, because according to all the research that I've done, if I can get a working permit, I should be allowed to work even during school hours up to 4 hours a day once I am 16. It doesn't make sense that I would have to have a high-school diploma before I can get a job.

So my question is, is there some specific restriction that applies because I am concurrently enrolled, or is their simply some misunderstanding either on my part or on the part of the school? If I get a chance to talk to someone on the hiring chain, what should I tell them, I don't want to act like I know more about employment law than them, but it seems like what they told my instructor does not fit with everything I've read.

1 Answer 1


If you are truely home-schooled, and your parents (or teacher) has not formed some kind of private school in which to teach you, then you cannot obtain a work-permit.

In the State of California, the school or private school satellite program issues work permits for the students. Issuing work permits is dependent on meeting certain school criteria (grades, academic record, attendance, whatever the school wants). California has decided that parents may not issue work permits for home schooled kids.

You can read more about it on The HomeSchool Association of California's website along with the California Department of Education.

The Employer can also decide not to hire minors (there is quite a bit of record-keeping, possible fines, and lengthy record-retention policies). You may be able to work out something to be a tutor unaffiliated with the school, which would fall under the self-employment exemption for a work permit.

  • Okay, thank you. That's a bit disappointing to hear, but it clears some things up. Is their some way I could potentially get a work permit by going to a higher level (district, county, etc.) or do I have no option but to wait until I have a high-school diploma? May 9, 2018 at 22:39
  • Is it legal/constitutional for a state to discriminate against homeschooled students in this way? It seems like an equal protection violation.
    – Someone
    Jun 14 at 2:29

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