[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3115

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 5, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

Senator  NELLIE POU

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Diegnan, A.M.Bucco and Testa

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Modifies process for obtaining working certificates for minors.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Labor Committee on February 11, 2021, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning working certificates for minors and amending P.L.1940, c.153.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

      1.   Section 8 of P.L.1940, c.153 (C.34:2-21.8) is amended to read as follows:

      8.   [The]  a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the issuing officer shall issue such certificates only upon the application in person of the minor desiring employment, and after having approved and filed the following papers:

      (1)  A promise of employment signed by the prospective employer or by someone duly authorized by him, setting forth the specific nature of the occupation in which he intends to employ such minor, the wage to be paid such minor, and the number of hours per day and days per week which said minor shall be employed.

      (2)  Evidence of age showing that the minor is of the age required by this act, which evidence shall consist of one of the following proofs of age and shall be required in the order herein designated, as follows:

      (a)  A birth certificate or certified transcript thereof or a signed statement of the recorded date and place of birth issued by a registrar of vital statistics or other officer charged with the duty of recording births, or

      (b)  A baptismal certificate or attested transcript thereof showing the date and place of birth, and date and place of baptism of the minor, or

      (c)  Other documentary evidence of age satisfactory to the issuing officer,  such as a bona fide contemporary record of the date and place of the minor's birth kept in the Bible in which the records of the births in the family of the minor are preserved, or a passport, showing the age of the minor, or a  certificate of arrival in the United States, issued by [the Office of Immigration and Naturalization Services] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, showing the age of the minor, or a life insurance policy,  provided that such other documentary evidence has been in existence at least one year prior to the time it is offered as evidence, and provided further that a  school record of age or an affidavit of a parent or guardian or other written  statement of age shall not be accepted, except as specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

      (d) In the case none of the aforesaid proofs of age shall be obtainable and only in such case, the issuing officer may accept the school record or the school-census record of the age of the minor together with the sworn statement of a parent or guardian as to the age of the minor and also with a certificate signed by the physician or advanced practice nurse authorized to sign the statements of physical fitness  required by this section, specifying what in his opinion is the physical age of the minor.  Such certificates shall show the height and weight of the minor and other facts concerning his physical development which were revealed by such examination and upon which the opinion of the physician or advanced practice nurse is based as to the physical age of the minor.  If the school or school-census record of age is not obtainable, the sworn statement of the minor's parent or guardian, certifying to the name, date and place of birth of the minor, together with a physician's or advanced practice nurse's certificate of age as hereinbefore specified, may be accepted as evidence of age.  The issuing officer shall administer said sworn statement.

      The issuing officer shall, in issuing a certificate for a minor, require the evidence of age specified in paragraph (a) of this section in preference to that specified in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section and shall not accept the evidence of age permitted by any subsequent paragraph unless he shall receive and file evidence that the evidence of age required by the preceding paragraph or paragraphs cannot be obtained.

      (3)  A statement of physical fitness, signed by a medical inspector employed by the applicable board of education, or any other physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery, or advanced practice nurse, setting forth that such minor has been thoroughly examined by such medical inspector, or such other physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery, or advanced practice nurse, that he either is physically fit for employment in occupations permitted for persons under 18 years of age, or is physically fit to be employed under certain limitations, specified in the statement.  If the statement of physical fitness is limited, the employment certificate issued thereon shall state clearly the limitations upon its use, and shall be valid only when used under the limitations so stated.  The method of making such examinations shall be prescribed jointly by the Commissioner of Education and the State Department of Health [and Senior Services]; provided, however, no minor shall be required to submit to a physical examination, whose parent or guardian objects thereto in writing on the grounds such examination is contrary to his religious beliefs and practices.

      (4)  A school record signed by the principal of the school which the minor has last attended or by someone duly authorized by him, giving the full name, date of birth, grade last completed, and residence of the minor, provided, that  in the case of a vacation certificate issued for work before or after school  hours, such record shall also state that the child is a regular attendant at school, and in the opinion of the principal may perform such work without  impairment of his progress in school, but such principal's statement shall not  be required for the issuance of a vacation certificate for work during regular school vacations.

      b.   (1)  During a state of emergency or public health emergency, requiring the personal appearance of the minor, and, under certain circumstances, the minor’s parent or guardian, before the school district issuing officer in order to apply for or sign employment certificates may be satisfied through the use of audio-visual technology. 

      (2)  Each public school district shall develop and implement procedures 1with respect to employment certificates issued during a state of emergency or public health emergency1 to satisfy the statutory requirements without requiring in-person contact between the school district issuing official and the minor, under the following conditions:

      (a)  During the application process, the child and the school district issuing officer may transmit a single copy of all required documentation by way of electronic transmission, fax, or any other means of transfer of documents developed by the school district that avoids in-person contact, is secure, and maintains the confidentiality of the documents;

      (b)  The video conference shall be live and must allow for interaction between the child and the school district issuing officer, and when applicable, the parent or guardian. During the video conference, the child shall verify his or her identity, authenticate the documents submitted, and sign the application, in a way that is visible and audible to the school district issuing officer; 1[and]1

      (c)  Following the video conference, the child shall transmit the signed certificate, by electronic or other means as determined by the school district, to the issuing officer, who shall make the requisite copies and distribute the original and copies as required by this section1; and

      (d)  The school district shall be responsible for performing the physical examination at no cost to a student’s parents or guardians, except that the parent or guardian may have the student examined at their own expense by a physician of their own choosing.  A school physical, including a sports physical, performed while at a high school shall be valid for the entire time that the student is enrolled at the high school, unless the school district policy specifies more frequent physicals1.

      (3)  If the state of emergency does not apply to the entire State, a minor shall be regarded as a covered minor under this section only if the minor resides in the area subject to the state of emergency.

      c.   As used in this section:

      “Public health emergency” means an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition, caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or a novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents or permanent or long-term disability, and which has been declared a public health emergency by the Governor.

      “State of emergency" means a natural or human-made disaster or emergency, including an epidemic or other health emergency, for which a state of emergency has been declared by the President of the United States, the Governor, a municipal emergency management coordinator, or other public authority permitted by law to declare a state of emergency.

 (cf: P.L.2004, c.168, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 10 of P.L.1940, c.153 (C.34:2-21.10) is amended to read as follows:

     10.    a.  An employment certificate shall state the name, sex, color, date and place of birth, residence, color of hair and eyes, height, weight, any distinguishing facial marks of the child--the employer's name, address and type of business, the occupation of the child, the kind of proof of age submitted, the grade completed, physician's approval and the name and address of parent.  [Every] Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, every such certificate shall be signed in the presence of the issuing officer by the child in whose name it is issued.

     b.    During a state of emergency or public health emergency, requiring the personal appearance of the minor, and, under certain circumstances, the minor’s parent or guardian, before the school district issuing officer in order to apply for or sign employment certificates may be satisfied through the use of audio-visual technology.

     If the state of emergency does not apply to the entire State, a minor shall be regarded as a covered minor under this section only if the minor resides in the area subject to the state of emergency.

     c.     As used in this section:

     “Public health emergency” means an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition, caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or a novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents or permanent or long-term disability, and which has been declared a public health emergency by the Governor.

     “State of emergency" means a natural or human-made disaster or emergency, including an epidemic or other health emergency, for which a state of emergency has been declared by the President of the United States, the Governor, a municipal emergency management coordinator, or other public authority permitted by law to declare a state of emergency.

(cf: P.L.1940, c.153, s.10)

      13.   Section 3 of P.L.1962, c. 91 (C.34:2-21.59) is amended to read as follows

      a.  Upon application of an employer, bearing the endorsed approval of a parent or guardian of the minor a permit authorizing employment of the minor in a theatrical production may be issued if:

    (a)  The minor is in good health and will not likely be endangered by the working conditions of the prospective employment as certified by a currently issued statement of a licensed physician based upon a physical examination which, for minors under 8 years of age, includes a visual acuity screening if practicable;

    (b)  The place of employment is approved by the Department of Labor and the period for which the permit is desired is not in excess of 3 months;

    (c)  The minor is not attending public school and the application is for a period other than during the school summer vacation period, that he is receiving equivalent instruction approved by the Department of Education or by the state or county of his residence if he be a nonresident of New Jersey;

    (d)  The proposed employment will not exceed two shows or productions in a day or a total of eight shows or productions in any week where the professional  employment is reasonably separable into discrete shows or productions;  that  the employment will not be for more than 6 days in any week, 5 hours in any day  or a total of 24 hours, including rehearsal time, in any week and that the  minor will not be employed before 7:00 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. and that school  and theatrical performance time shall not exceed 8 hours in any 1 day and that  the combined time spent on a set or on call and performance time shall not  exceed a total of eight hours in any one day;

    (e) The employment does not involve a type of prohibited performance as hereinafter defined;  and

    (f)  The minor will be under the direct care and supervision of an adult who  is a parent, guardian or a representative of the employer, named in the application, at all times during his employment or while living away from home when required as an incident of such employment.

    b.  A permit or certificate, as the case may be, may be issued by the issuing officer or by the Commissioner of Labor in cases involving a significant contribution to the development of the motion picture industry in the State as determined by the Motion Picture and Television Development Commission.  In such cases, the commissioner shall also have the authority to alter or amend the hours of the day but not the total hours in the day during which a minor may work as set forth in paragraph (d), subsection a. of this section, if such alteration or amendment will not foreseeably impair the educational instruction, supervision, health and welfare of the minor, and such  an alteration or amendment is necessary for good reasons shown by the employer.   The commissioner shall set forth the terms of any alteration or amendment in  the permit or certificate.

      c.  During a state of emergency or public health emergency, any aspect of the authorization requiring the personal appearance of the minor or the minor’s parent or guardian may be satisfied through the use of audio-visual technology in a manner consistent with the provisions of subsection b. of section 8 of P.L.1940, c.153 (C.34:2-21.8).1

(cf: P.L.1981, c.331, s.5)

 

     1[3.]  4.1    This act shall take effect immediately.