MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) continues to build on modernization efforts with the launch of a new online work permit application for younger workers. This change allows work permit transactions to be conducted online, eliminating the need for families to obtain permits at brick-and-mortar locations.

“The teens in our labor force are incredibly hard working and have never been more important to our economy, which is experiencing record low unemployment,” said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. “We are pleased to offer a new, convenient online permit application system that parents and guardians can use day or night with any internet-connected device to obtain a work permit for minors. Increasing accessibility of the work permit system goes part and parcel with our mission to advocate for the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, including the talented and hard-working teen members of our workforce.”

More than 151,000 teens are employed in Wisconsin, earning money, and learning new skills. DWD annually issues approximately 35,000 work permits for minors.

Work permits are required for workers 14 and 15 years old before they can work in any job except agriculture or domestic service work. While employers are responsible to ensure minor workers have the appropriate work permit, parents and guardians are responsible to obtain work permits for minors. Labor laws, including those affecting minors, are enforced by DWD’s Equal Rights Division.

“Work permits are one of the most important measures we take to ensure the safety of minor workers in the state of Wisconsin,” Equal Rights Division Administrator Ramona L. Natera said.

With these updates, DWD dramatically increases the accessibility of the work permit system for those living in underserved areas or locations without nearby access to brick-and-mortar sites where work permits can be obtained.

A DWD ID is required to purchase a work permit online. Users who have previously created a DWD ID may use it to access the online application. The permit fee of $10 is due at time of purchase. Once complete, the work permit is sent directly to the employer.

Instructions on how to create a DWD ID and access the online work permit application can be found on the Equal Rights Division website.

Questions about the online work permit application may be sent to the Equal Rights Division at workpermits@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

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