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Indiana's Online Work Permit System

Indiana's Online Work Permit System

Attention: Employers of 14- and 15-year-olds

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Please read this before you allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work extended hours!

The state of Indiana and the federal government have concurrent jurisdiction in Child Labor laws. Work-hour and work-day/week restrictions in both state and federal law no longer mirror each other as they have before.

In the latest session, the Indiana legislature enacted House Enrolled Act 1420, scheduled to become law on July 1, 2018. The new Indiana law permits 14- and 15-year-olds to work until 10:00 PM on days not followed by a school day as well as work more than three hours on Fridays when school is in session.

The following chart shows resulting state child labor law changes in comparison to federal child labor laws in the same jurisdiction:

Indiana State law for 14- and 15-year-olds Federal law for 14- and 15-year-olds
Three (3) hours per school day, and eight (8) hours on Fridays that are school days
Eight (8) hours per non-school day, and Fridays that are school days
18 hours per school week,
40 hours per non-school week.
They may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. on nights before school
May work until 10:00 p.m. on nights not followed by a school day
Three (3) hours per school day,
Eight (8) hours per non-school day,
18 hours per school week,
40 hours per non-school week.
They may not work before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., but may work until 9:00 p.m. from June 1st through Labor Day

In an effort to protect businesses that hire 14- and 15-year-olds from exposing themselves to financially compromising situations, we ask that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the risks of allowing 14 and 15 year olds to work these extended hours.

Allowing a 14 or 15 year old to work past 7:00 PM, or past 9:00 PM between June 1 and Labor Day, continues to violate federal law. Allowing a 14- or 15-year-old to work more than three hours on a school day, even Friday, continues to violate federal law. What is written in federal law cannot be overturned by any state legislature.

There are four important factors to consider when employing 14- and 15-year-olds in violation of federal law:
1. Insurance. Insurance companies may include a clause in their policies relieving them of any liability for accidents occurring during illegal activities. If a 14- or 15-year-old is hurt while working prohibited hours or shifts, insurance companies may refuse to pay a claim.
2. Injury lawyers. If a 14- or 15-year-old is injured while you are allowing them to work illegally, many injury lawyers may use this as a window to sue you for illegally working a minor.
3. Worker’s compensation. If a minor is injured while working in violation of federal laws, Indiana laws may entitle them to double the compensation.
4. Federal enforcement. The penalties for violating these federal laws can be severe.

The Department of Labor recommends that you contact your attorney before allowing 14 and 15 year olds to work these extended hours. Be aware of the risks involved, and act accordingly.


Child Labor Training

Work experience can be a great benefit to teens and their employers. From work-hour restrictions to prohibited occupations, the Bureau of Child Labor administers and enforces Indiana laws regarding the employment of teens.

Do you have a child labor law question? Contact the Bureau of Child Labor by email at childlabor@dol.in.gov.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (by the Center of Disease Control) has developed Safety Matters, a safety and health training program for young workers. This free program is a one-hour interactive teaching module and PowerPoint presentation to equip young people with skills and knowledge to participate in safe and healthy work environments.


Exemptions for Minors in Hazardous/Prohibited Occupations

Both United States federal law and Indiana state law allow minors at least 16 years of age to begin training for jobs that may be categorized as hazardous and are otherwise prohibited. The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) oversees the Registered Apprenticeship Program, aimed at connecting American businesses with young workers for enhanced skills training and, ultimately, higher paying jobs for skilled workers.

The USDOL's Registered Apprenticeship Program can significantly benefit businesses seeking a young, high-skilled workforce. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/apprenticeship.

The Indiana Department of Labor is currently developing its own database and resources to promote skills training for Indiana's young workers. These will be made available soon, and we encourage those interested to subscribe to the Child Labor's webpage to receive updates about this developing project. (Click the "Subscribe" button beneath the homepage banner.)


Candy Crews

In most cases, it is unlawful for minors under 16 years of age to peddle goods or services door to door or approach passersby. This problem is addressed in both state and federal laws and is something that we see fairly often here in Indiana. Colloquially, these mobile sales groups have come to be known as "Candy Crews."

WISH-TV 8's Adrienne Broaddus recently published a news report on this issue. The "Candy Crew" article may be found here. The Indiana Department of Labor has also published a fact sheet on "Candy Crews." That fact sheet may be found here.

Online Work Permit System Updates

All work permits in Indiana are now issued through accredited Hoosier schools using the Online Work Permit System. The Indiana Department of Labor no longer produces or distributes paper work permits.

To assist in navigating the system, the Indiana Department of Labor has created several online tutorials explaining each aspect of using the online work permit system on our website. This information may be found on our Forms and Publications webpage. We have also added a section to our Frequently Asked Questions page explaining the statutory requirements, policies and procedures of issuing work permits online.

Teen Worker Safety

The Bureau of Child Labor  partnered with INSafe, Indiana's occupational safety and health consultation program, to provide information about teen worker safety and health.

Together, the Bureau of Child Labor and INSafe created two short training videos centered around Indiana's Child Labor laws and on the job safety.

For more information about teen labor laws and workplace safety and health, please visit the Teen Worker Safety page and our Frequently Asked Questions. For questions about Indiana's Child Labor laws, please email your inquiry to the Bureau of Child Labor at childlabor@dol.in.gov. Please contact INSafe for workplace safety and health inquiries by email at insafe@dol.in.gov or contact us by phone at (317) 232-2688 to speak with a safety or health consultant.