Indiana Child Labor Laws

Indiana child labor laws regulate when, for how long, and at what jobs teens can work. According to my research, all teens 14, 15, 16 and 17 years of age must have a work permit before they can begin work. However, a work permit is not required if the teen has graduated from high school or has received a (GED) diploma.

During school, 14 and 15 year-olds may work 3 hours a day, 18 hours a week, from 7am – 7pm, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their school attendance. 16 and 17 year-olds may work 8 hours a day, 30 hours a week (with a max of 6 days a week) from 6:00am-10:00pm, again if it doesn’t affect school attendance.

On holidays and weekends, 14 and 15 year-olds may work 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, from 7am – 7pm. 16 and 17 year-olds may work 8 hours a day, 30 hours a week (with a max of 6 days a week) from 6:00am-10:00pm, again if it doesn’t affect school attendance.

I understand that most Indiana employers must provide one or two breaks totaling 30 minutes to teens under the age of 18 who are scheduled to work six or more consecutive hours. The law exempts from this requirement: farm laborers, domestic service workers, golf caddies, newspaper carriers, teens that have completed an approved vocational or special education program, and teens that have withdrawn from school.

Indiana law forbids the employment of minors in the following occupations:

  • 14 and 15 Years of Age cannot work in manufacturing, mining, public around hazardous materials, occupations requiring driving, construction, heavy machinery, and most warehouse jobs.
  • Teens 16 and 17 years of age cannot work around explosives, coal mining, logging, radioactive materials, power-driven machinery, slaughterhouses, demolition, roofing and excavation.
  • Student-learners, 16 and 17 years of age, who are enrolled in a cooperative vocational training program may be exempt from these specific prohibited occupations.

Under Indiana’s child labor laws, warnings are issued and penalties are assessed for employer violations of the law. Any employer found violating Indiana’s child labor laws may be assessed civil penalties.

All employers employing minors must post the Notice of Teen Worker Hour Restrictions. This form must be posted in a conspicuous place or in the area where notices to employees are normally posted.

25 thoughts on “Indiana Child Labor Laws

  1. I have a question.My daughter is routinely asked to stay over her scheduled work time, usually an hour to 1.5 hours later. This is a concern of mine.if she is scheduled until 7pm, her supervisor has stated she is allowed to keep her up to 2 hours later than scheduled, is this accurate? It is extremely frustrating for me because I have to rearrange my whole life it seems according to her work schedule and then just sit around and wait until she is finished at her supervisor discretion. And what is worse is the supervisor leaves early and tells her she needs to stay. Needless to say, she has missed family gatherings, social gatherings.I’ve missed the same and am wondering if this is accurate. Would appreciate responses.

    Thx!

  2. Hi Renee! Actually, your daughter’s supervisor can have her work any number of additional hours per day, as long as she is within the daily and weekly limits set by the child labor laws.
    Any employer can require that an employee work more hours than scheduled, even with no notice. An employee who refuses can be disciplined or terminated.
    However, Indiana child labor laws limit the total number of hours that an employee under the age of 18 may work. For example, if your daughter is 16, she can work no more than 8 hours per day, or 30 hours per week (40 with your permission) during a school week. Also, she cannot work before 6 am or after 10 pm. As long as the employer is following those guidelines, what she is doing is entirely legal.
    Read more about the Indiana Child Labor Laws at: http://www.in.gov/dol/childlabor.htm
    HTH, and thanks for posting your question. ~ Amelia

  3. The V.P. of the company would like to employ his son age 15 for the summer. This is in the Tool and Die Dept. Is this considered manufacturing?

  4. Hi Lori! It’s impossible for us to determine if a 15-year-old can legally hold the job without knowing a lot more about the job and the workplace. Our suggestion is that you contact the Indiana Department of Labor for a determination on your specific situation. Or, the young man could be hired for a different type of position, such as office work. HTH, and thanks for reading the blog!~ Amelia

  5. Message Is it legal for my 16 year old to work in a gas station alone and sell cigarettes? There is no one else in the building during his 8 hour shift so I am already discovering that he should be given a 30 minute break. And, also I know that he can’t be alone after 10pm and the gas station doesn’t close until 11pm

  6. Hi Jenn! In Indiana, a 16-year-old can work between 6 am and 10 pm (11 pm on non-school nights) with a work permit. They can work until midnight on non-school nights. However, the minor cannot be employed during school hours in most cases. If the establishment is open to the public, an employee over the age of 18 must be supervising a minor employee who works past 10 pm. The 16-year-old may be able to work later with the parent’s written permission, or if they have graduated from high school.
    The employee under 18 is entitled to a 30-minute break when working more than 6 hours.
    You must be 18 to purchase cigarettes in Indiana. We were not able to find a law that prohibits minors from selling cigarettes to customers over 18.
    All of the Child Labor Laws are enforced by the Indiana Department of Labor. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia
    Read more about this at: http://www.in.gov/dol/2400.htm and
    http://www.in.gov/dol/files/teen_labor_laws_guide.pdf

  7. hey there. im working as a minor and is trying to figure out how long i can work. i live in indiana and ive read a lot of pages and cant find anything.

  8. Hi Gregg! You are looking for the Indiana Child Labor laws. In Indiana, all youths must have a work permit. The number of hours that you can work depends upon your age. Generally, young people under 14 cannot work legally. Young people who are 14 or 15 can work 3 hours on a school day, and 18 hours per week during the school term. They can work between 7 am and 7 pm. When school is not in session, they can work up to 8 hours per day, up to 40 hours per week, between 7 am and 9 pm.
    Different times and rules apply for workers who are 16 or 17 years old — you will see them at the second link below. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.in.gov/dol/childlabor.htm and http://www.in.gov/dol/2398.htm#B210

  9. i work for a police department. and i am low in senority, but not the lowest in hours of overtime. When someone does not want to work or cant work overtime i am ordered in which happens quite alot. i already worked friday into saturday 11pm to 7 am as an overtime day. a woman at my work called in and they personally came to my house due to me not hearing my phone and told me i was ordered in for a shift tonight 11pm to 7 am and plus i have to work 7am to 3pm sunday.. they always do this to me make me work. there is people there that they havent even asked if they wanted to work, plus im not the lowest person in overtime hours but lowest in senority.. is what they are doing legal? is there anything i can do?

  10. Hi Kirsten! This is probably lawful. An employer can require that any employee work overtime — even a 16 hour shift. The employer can discipline or terminate any employee who refuses. The employer could even fire an employee who “didn’t hear the phone” when she was called in. So they are actually doing you a favor to stop by your hours.
    You seem to be working under the impression that people with more seniority than you should be given the overtime, but that is not true. For one thing, you are probably at the lowest salary, so using you for overtime ultimately costs the employer less than using more senior staff members for it. Second, many organizations have a policy that the person with the least seniority gets the shifts that no one else wants to work — which could well include these shifts.
    However, since you are a female in law enforcement, we will say this: if the employer is singling you out for overtime because you are female (or due to your race, color, religion, etc.) then that is illegal discrimination. However, if the employer would treat any new employee the same way, that is lawful. HTH, and thanks fo reading the blogs!~Amelia

  11. amelia, i am the only person they order in the never try anyone else. they automatically call me and say that im ordered.. there are officers that do what i do that are not working and they do not ask them.. the other dispatchers that work with me make the same thing as i do in salary. no one is given raises. im not arguing im just sick of my employers treating me they way they do.

  12. Hi Kirsten! If you believe they are singling you out for this treatment because you are female, then that would be illegal discrimination. You would be well within your rights to file a complaint of discrimination based on sex with the EEOC at http://www.eeoc.gov. Even if the EEOC finds no discrimination, you may find that you are no longer getting all the calls. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  13. I’m tired of asking my parents for money. And I like to be independent. Where can I find a job in Evansville,IN that I will enjoy?

  14. Hi Shunrria! Kudos to you for wanting to earn your own money! The answer to your question depends partly upon how old you are. Young people under the age of 14 are prohibited from holding most jobs. The exceptions would be babysitting, dog-walking, farm work, delivering newspapers, working as a golf caddy, doing errands and household tasks.

    If you are between 14 and 18, be aware that all workers under the age of 18 require a work permit in Indiana. You can apply for the permit online. The hours that a minor can work area also restricted. Workers 14 and older can perform more jobs, such as bagging groceries, working in restaurants (but not cooking), car washes, etc. However, both the Indiana and federal laws prohibit workers under 16 or 18 from holding certain jobs that are too dangerous, like roofing, operating heavy machinery or being a cook in a restaurant.

    When applying for jobs, consider your interests. If you love animals, consider working as a dog-walker or in a vet’s office. If you enjoy food, cooking, and socializing, consider working in a restaurant. If you are really good at math, consider tutoring younger students. If you are really good at computers, consider tutoring senior citizens.

    However, be aware that “fun” is not a word that describes most jobs. While you shouldn’t hate every second of work, usually work is less pleasant than what you would be doing in your free time. As a wise woman (my mother) once told me, “It’s not fun. That’s why they pay you for it. If it was fun, you would be doing it for free.” HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about Indiana Child Labor Laws here: http://www.in.gov/dol/2398.htm#C242

  15. I’m 16, and living in Indiana. I’m looking for a job, but I don’t attend normal school (I’m in a correspondence school), do the normal hours still apply to me? Because of my schedule, I do my schoolwork any time, and actually normally at night. Am I still only allowed to work from 6-10?
    Also…how do I get a work permit?
    I’m extremely serious about getting a job, as I’m paying for my own groceries, school, (buying a) car, car insurance, phone… etc. etc.
    Thanks for your time and the blog- very informative (:

  16. Hi, this is an odd question probably… but if I get my high school diploma/GED do the work labor laws still apply to me? Or do I just not need a work permit? Cuz id like to work more hours than 30 a week lol.

  17. Hey, sorry, another quick question… do the hour laws apply to me overall, or just per job?
    for instance, can I work say, 20-30 hours a week in one place, and have a second job, where I work another 20 hours so I work full time? I’m trying to figure out what my options are…
    thanks so much (:

  18. Hi Joss! Kudos to you for wanting to work and showing so much iniative. You are a young man who will go far. Under Indiana Child Labor laws, you are considered a home-schooled student. Yes, the 6 am to 10 pm hour restrictions still apply to you. (It is unlikely that an employer would hire you to work those hours anyway, since they would have to also hire someone over 18 to work with you.)

    You will still need your school’s permission (in this case, the permission of your parents or legal guardian) to work between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm on a school day. (Don’t be tempted to quit school — it will hurt you a great deal in the long run.)

    For a work permit in Indiana, basically you apply to the job first. If the employer offers you a job, they fill out the Intention to Employ A-1 form. Your parent or legal guardian also signs the form. You take that form and proof of age to the local high school “issuing officer” (the principal or someone designated by the principal) to get a work permit — even if you do not attend that school. A parent, school or legal guardian must also state that you are performing adequately in your school work. Then you take the work permit back to the employer, who must keep it on file.

    If you have additional questions, contact the Indiana Department of Labor at http://www.in.gov/dol/2368.htm or by phone. They have incountered this situation many times before and can answer all your questions. You can also post more questions here, and we’ll be happy to help. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.in.gov/dol/2400.htm
    http://www.in.gov/dol/files/Teen_Labor_Laws_2009.pdf

  19. Hi again Joss! For you and every other Indiana student, the hours apply overall, not per job. In other words, a person under 18 in Indiana can have two jobs, but the total hours worked at all jobs are what matters — not the hours worked at only one job. During school weeks, you can work 30 hours total. And if you have the permission of a parent or guardian, you can work up to 40 hours during a school week, since you are 16. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

  20. Hi Sara! A work permit is not required for an Indiana employee under the age of 18 who has graduated from high school or who has a GED. The hour restrictions also do not apply to an Indiana worker who has a GED or a high school diploma, regardless of age. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.in.gov/dol/files/Teen_Labor_Laws_2009.pdf

  21. Hi Amelia! Thanks so much for your quick reply, I really appreciate it. Just to confirm- if I have a guardian’s consent, I can work any time between 7:30-10 pm? Also..do I need a signature for that, or could it perhaps be done by phone? I don’t actually live with my guardians or parents, and it’d take a while to get any sort of document since they live 3+ states away. Thanks again!
    (quick p.s.- I appreciate your support (: I’m a girl though, haha)

  22. Hey, I’m 10. Sounds wierd, I know but I know alot and I want to know if there is a law against children having a job under the age of 14?

  23. Hi Noah! Cheers for you, for wanting to work! Unfortunately, yes, federal and Indiana laws prevent employers from hiring people under 14 for most jobs. However, young people your age can do some things to earn money. They are allowed to do errands, yard work and household chores for friends and neighbors. They can babysit, be a golf caddy or have a paper route. You can also walk dogs, or care for pets and plants while the owners are on vacation — or even while the owners are in town but busy. A young person can earn money tutoring younger kids, or teaching adults and senior citizens about computers. If you live near a farm, you can do certain non-dangerous jobs on a farm. You can create a non-food product to sell, like keychains, potholders or holiday decorations. We would like to see a young person set up a business to program new cell phones with the numbers from the old phone. Maybe they could also set the time on the DVD player or VCR.

    Whatever business you choose, you can make up flyers and hang them in your neighborhood to advertise your services. Remember to put the price you charge and your phone number on them. Also exercise caution — only work for people you know and make sure your parents know where you are at all times. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

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