163 Kids and the Law CHILD EMPLOYMENT ISSUES The state employment laws limit the number of hours and the type of work that children under age 18 can legally perform. They all must get aWork Permit from the school district where they live or go to school. Children under 18 are prohibited from certain types of work that may involve dangerous machinery or substances. With some exceptions, notably the restaurant business, chil- dren under 18 cannot work before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m. In general, a child under 16 cannot get paid for work performed during the hours when public schools are in session. Farm work allows for the employ- ment of younger children, ages 14 and older. Children under 14 may not work with a few exceptions such as babysitting, working as news carriers, on farms, and in entertainment (with a special permit). Most of the laws related to child employment are located in Massachusetts Gen- eral Laws chapter 149. PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF THE CHILD Massachusetts Law states that a parent of a child between the ages of seven and 18 is liable in a civil action for any willful act committed by the child which results in injury to the person or property of another. Included is the loss due to theft by the child. The maximum damage the parent or guardian can be ordered to pay is $5,000. Laws describing parental liability are located in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 231, Section 85G. Miscellaneous Miscellaneous 13 13