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Indiana Child Labor Laws

Both state and federal law restricts the employment of minors. When state child labor laws differ from federal provisions, an employer must comply with the higher standard. State child labor standards are presented below. However, Indiana's child labor laws do not apply to parents employing their own children, except for restrictions on underage employment, employment during school hours, and employment in hazardous occupations.

Key Employer Requirements

Before an employer hires a minor child, it must place on file in its office an employment certificate issued by the school the child attends or the school corporation in which the child resides. Exceptions to this requirement apply to:

  • Farm laborers
  • Domestic workers
  • Golf caddies
  • Newspaper carriers
  • Performers
  • Actors
  • Models
  • Certified sports referees, umpires, or officials
  • Minors who have been legally emancipated
  • Minors who have graduated from high school
  • Minors who will be working for a business that is solely owned by a parent

Employers of minors in occupations requiring employment certificates must also post a notice in a conspicuous place.

Restrictions on Time & Hours Worked

Minors under 14
In general, minors must be at least 14 years of age to work in Indiana.

Minors 14 and 15
Indiana and federal law combine to allow minors aged 14 and 15 to work:

  • 3 hours per school day
  • 8 hours per non-school day
  • 18 hours per school week
  • 40 hours per non-school week
  • No earlier than 7:00 a.m.
  • No later 7:00 p.m. on nights before school
  • No later than 9:00 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day

Minors 16 Years of Age
In general, 16-year-olds may work 8 hours per day, 30 hours per week, and until 10:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day. However, with written parental permission, a 16-year-old may work:

  • 8 hours per day
  • Until 11:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day
  • Until 12:00 a.m. on nights not followed by a school day
  • 40 hours per school week
  • 48 hours per non-school week

Notably, 16-year-olds may not work more than 6 days per employer's workweek or work before 6:00 a.m.

Minors 17 Years of Age
In general, 17-year-olds may work 8 hours per school day, 30 hours per week, and until 10:00 p.m. on nights followed by a school day. However, with written parental permission, 17-year-olds may work:

  • 8 hours per day
  • 40 hours per school week
  • 48 hours per non-school week
  • Until 11:30 p.m. on nights followed by a school day
  • Until 1:00 a.m. on nights followed by a school day, but not on consecutive nights and not more than two school nights per week
  • Until any time on days not followed by a school day

In addition, please note that:

  • 17-year-olds may not work more than 6 days per employer's workweek and may not begin work before 6:00 a.m. on school days
  • If a 17-year-old will be working more than 30 hours per week or more than 8 hours per day during a period when school is not in session (e.g., summer, spring or holiday break), he or she must have written parental permission on file before working extended hours

Breaks

If a minor 14-17 years of age works 6 or more hours in a shift, the employer is required to provide the minor with 1-2 breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. These breaks may be taken at any point during the minor's shift. In addition, Indiana requires that break logs be maintained by the employer to document all paid and unpaid breaks provided to minor employees.

Restrictions on Duties Performed

Indiana prohibits children under 18 from working in hazardous occupations, except when the child is working for a parent (or person standing in place of a parent) on a farm owned or operated by the parent or person. In addition, with some exceptions for 18-, 19-, and 21-year-olds, Indiana also bans the employment of minors to sell, furnish, or otherwise deal in alcoholic beverages.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section.

For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact us or call 812-222-1559.

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