Employer Insights

Indiana Child Labor Laws - The Complete Guide for 2024

by Scott Holland, on Apr 18, 2023 7:13:00 AM

Under Indiana Child Labor Laws, employers in the state must stay compliant when hiring employees that are under the age of 18. More specifically, youth employees in Indiana have certain requirements and restrictions when it comes to hours worked, duties performed, and a few other provisions. Here is everything employers need to know regarding Indiana Child Labor Laws.

Indiana Child Labor Laws Overview

Indiana Child Labor Laws are enforced and maintained by the Indiana Youth Employment Division, a division of the Indiana Department of Labor (DOL). 

Generally, employers in the state of Indiana need to be aware of the following things when hiring employees under the age of 18:

  • How to track and monitor minor-employee information
  • Prohibited Occupations / Duties
  • Restrictions on Hours Worked
  • Required Posters and Forms

Of course, these are just important areas to be aware of specific to child labor and employing minors. It's important to keep in mind that employers still must comply with all the other Indiana Labor Laws required by the state. 

Indiana Youth Employment System (YES)

While many states in the United States utilize youth work permits when it comes to minor employment, Indiana has made the change to go completely electronic. 

Since July 1st, 2021, employers in Indiana with five or more minor employees must use the Indiana Youth Employment System (YES) to track and report minor employee information.

Employers in Indiana must use the system to provide corporate and individual location information, and minor employee information once the minor is employed. Once the minor is no longer employed they may be removed from the system. Employers found out of compliance may receive fines of up to $400 per employee.

Important to note is that employers with fewer than five minor employees do not need to use the system, but may still choose to sign up. 

Employers can sign up for YES by clicking this link.

Prohibited Occupations and Duties for Minors in Indiana

When it comes to minor employment in Indiana, there are certain restrictions on the duties that a minor can be asked to undertake. These duties also differ depending on the age of the minor, with the restrictions being more intense for minors aged 14 to 15. 

Prohibited Occupations for Minors 14 and 15 Years Old

Minor employees between the ages of 14 and 15 may not perform the following duties and /or scenarios:

  • Manufacturing and working in workrooms where goods are manufactured
  • Mining and working in workrooms where goods are mined
  • Processing and working in workrooms where goods are processed
  • Operating, tending setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing power-driven machinery
  • Cooking and Baking
  • Working in freezers or meat coolers
  • Preparation of meats for sale
  • Working in or about boiler or engine rooms
  • Maintenance of a building, establishment-machines, or equipment
  • Operating a motor vehicle
  • Working as a vehicle helper
  • Loading a motor vehicle
  • Operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, and repairing power-driven machinery
  • Catching or cooping poultry for transport to sale or to market
  • Transportation of people or goods
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Communications
  • Public messenger
  • Youth peddling
  • Advertising by holding signs, waving banners or wearing costumes
  • Construction/demolition/repair
  • Using ladders, scaffolds or other similar equipment
  • Outside window washing

For more information regarding the above-prohibited duties and the details behind each one, employers can see the YES website.

Prohibited Occupations for Minors 16 and 17 Years Old

Minor employees between the ages of 16 and 17 may not perform the following duties and /or scenarios:

  • Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components
  • Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper
  • Coal-mine occupations
  • Forest fire fighting and forest fire prevention occupations, timber tract occupations, forestry service occupations, logging occupations, and occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines
  • Exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus
  • Occupations involved in the operations of power-driven metal forming, punching, and shearing machines
  • Occupations in connection with mining, other than coal
  • Occupations in the operation of power-driven meat-processing machines and occupations involving slaughtering, meat and poultry packing, processing, or rendering
  • Occupations involved in the operation of bakery machines
  • Occupations involved in the operation of balers, compactors, and paper product machines
  • Occupations involved in the manufacture of brick, tile, and kindred products
  • Occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs
  • Occupations involved in wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations
  • Occupations in roofing operations and on or about a roof
  • Occupations in excavation operations

For more information regarding the above-prohibited duties and the details behind each one, employers can see the YES website.

Hour Restrictions for Indiana Minors

In addition to the restrictions on duties and occupations performed, minors in Indiana also have restrictions on the hours that they may work. Like the duty restrictions, the restrictions on hours worked differ depending on the age of the minor.

Restrictions on Hours Worked for Minors 14 and 15 Years Old

Minors ages 14 and 15 may only work up to three hours on a school day, and up to eight hours on a non-school day. In addition to the daily limits, minors may only work up to 18 hours per school week, and up to 40 during a non-school week. 

In addition to the total hours worked, there are certain windows in which minors ages 14 to 15 may work. Minors 14 and 15 may only work from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm, and must work outside of school hours. From June 1st through Labor Day, minors may work until 9:00 pm so long as the night is not followed by a school day.

Restrictions on Hours Worked for Minors 16 and 17 Years Old

Minors ages 16 and 17 may only work up to nine hours per day, up to 40 hours per school week, and up to 48 hours per non-school week. 

Minors ages 16 and 17 may also not work more than 6 consecutive days. 

Minor employees ages 16 and 17 also have more complex restrictions on shift lengths and start times. Shifts may not start between the hours of 12:00 am and 6:00 am, and do not have a specific end time, so long as it is not a school night. Shifts on a school night must end by 10:00 pm, however, minor employees may work until 11:00 pm if written parental permission is obtained.

Lastly, minors ages 16 and 17 may not work in an establishment that is open to the public between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am unless another employee that is 18 or older is also present during the same hours as the minor.

Required Posters and Forms 

While the Indiana Youth Employment Center provides a wide array of materials and resources regarding youth employment in Indiana, but there are only a few things that are required for employers to post. 

Employers in Indiana must display the Teen Work Hour Restrictions poster, as well as keep the following forms and documents handy:

Managing Youth Employment in Indiana

While the risk for non-compliance is greater when hiring youth employees, the necessity to do so likely outweighs the risk. Therefore it is critical that employers looking to hire minors for their business in Indiana understand and adhere to the requirements and restrictions regarding youth employment in the state.

Companies that are struggling with Indiana compliance regarding things like youth employment, or other areas of Indiana Labor Law, may want to consider reaching out to an Indiana Payroll and HR company for help.

Businesses looking for assistance can contact us, or get connected with a provider today!

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Guest Author: Scott Holland

Scott Holland Headshot-modifiedScott Holland is the Executive Vice President at TruPay, an Indiana human capital management solutions company serving medium and large employee-size organizations throughout the United States. Scott earned a B.S. from Bethel College, majoring in accounting and business administration. He is a member of the AICPA and Indiana CPA Society and has been invited to speak at the Independent Payroll Provider’s Association (IPPA) tax and operations conference.

Topics:ComplianceState Labor LawsIndiana Labor Laws

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