Legal Age to Work in Indiana

Minimum Age to Work in IN

Indiana (IN) Quick Reference Table
AgeSummary of Requirements
14-15Forbid the employment in occupations deemed prohibited under the child labor provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Work permits may not be issued and employers must not employ minors
16-17Forbid the employment in occupations deemed prohibited under the child labor provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Work permits may not be issued and employers must not employ minors.
18-20Must be 18 to work in establishments that sell or serve alcohol for consumption
21Able to serve alcohol for consumption. No restrictions.
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Indiana Child Labor Laws

The Bureau of Child Labor operates as an organization dedicated to the proper training and maintaining of proper work practices for youth workers in the Hoosier State. Indiana allows for minors to begin working at the age of 14, though certain restrictions apply to the type of work, hours allowed, and the type of paperwork required to remain on file in order for minors to assumed paid roles in the workforce. Restrictions for minors seeking employment generally decrease with age. Employees over the age of 18 face car fewer restrictions than younger counterparts, though some jobs remain restricted to even older teenagers.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in Indiana?

For nearly every employment opportunity, minors must stand at least 14 years of age in order to work in Indiana. However, certain exceptions remain. A minor working as a farm laborer, babysitter, golf caddie, certified referee or umpire, performer or actor, or newspaper carrier may receive permission to work under the age of fourteen. A legally emancipated minor may also receive permission to work under the age of 14. Children working at a business owned and operated by a parent may not legally perform services for money until turning 14, unless the parent serves as the sole proprietor of the establishment. In such cases, minors do not need obtain a work permit. Otherwise, valid work permits must remain on file at all times during tenures held by minors.

Obtaining a Work Permit

With a few exceptions, any minor between the ages of 14 and 17 must acquire a work permit to work in the State of Indiana. Obtained through the accredited high school of the district the child inhabits, the form must find the hands of the employer with intent to hire the minor, who must fill out an “Intent to Employ/A1” form. The purpose of the form spells out the intention of the employer in terms of hiring the minor, including duties performed and hours projected to work. In order for the work permit to actually issue, the student typically must provide proof of age, and if not in attendance at the issuing school, a letter stating that the minor remains in good standing academically and in attendance. The Issuing Officer of the school then decides if the documentations stand in good order. If approved, the minor receives a work permit free of cost and must keep the document on file at the place of employment.

Acceptable Employment for Minors

Employment Possibilities for 14 and 15 Year Olds
The United States Department of Labor maintains an updated list of occupations considered hazardous for minors, which provides clarification as to which jobs may remain appropriate for youths to perform. Both 14 and 15 year olds may perform office and clerical work, basic kitchen work, cashiering, packing and shelving, cleanup work, errand and delivery work, intellectual or artistic work, and work with cars and trucks, such as at a gas station dispensing gasoline or car washing by hand. Within each job category, minors may also face restrictions on the type of work performed in each category and may typically not operate or service any machine within the subcategory.

Certain occupations remain inaccessible by 14 and 15 year olds. Prohibited jobs include manufacturing, mining, cooking and baking, meat-packing, operating or loading a motor vehicle, youth peddling, advertising by holding signs or wearing costumes, and outside window washing. The state offers resources for citizens in terms of worker safety, with videos online via government websites. Employers, parents, and minors with questions regarding restrictions may contact the Indiana Department of Labor by email and/or phone.

Employment Possibilities for 16 and 17 Year Olds
Both 16 and 17 year olds face additional occupational restrictions in accordance to both state and federal laws. With the ability to apply and work for more positions than younger counterparts, older teens must still work within the restrictions applied by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Some jobs not permissible for sixteen and seventeen year olds include manufacturing or storing of potentially explosive components, forest fire fighting, exposure to radioactive substances, mining, metalworking, demolition, roofing, excavating, operating bakery machines, power-driven equipment, or work involving meat-processing. Students working as apprentices may find exemptions in certain occupations and should consult the Indiana DOL with any specific inquiries.

Hour Restrictions for Minors

For each age grouping in the state of Indiana, hour restrictions apply. For ages 14 and 15, teen workers must only work three hours per school day and eight per non-school day, and only up to 18 hours per school week. On non-school weeks, minors may work 40-hour work weeks; however, scheduling a 14 or 15 year old before 7:00am or after 7:00pm remains strictly prohibited, with the exception remaining after 9:00pm between June 1 and Labor Day. For 16 and 17 year olds, minors may work eight hours per school day and 30 hours per week, with no more than six working days per week. No work may commence before 6:00am on school days and may not conclude after 10:00pm. Minors with written parental permission on file with an employer at the location where the minor holds employment may work up to nine hours per school day and up to 40 hours per school week, 48 per non-school week, and may work until 12:00am on nights not followed by a school day. Parental permission forms remain online via the DOL, though only minors 16 and over qualify.

Exceptions

Homeschooled students must follow all work-hour restrictions but possess the ability to work during traditional school days with written permission from a parent or tutor. Students withdrawn or graduated from high school and standing 16 years or older no longer remain bound by hour restrictions. Summer employment follows the same rules on occupations and hour restrictions, as well. Minors under the age of 16 may participate in various hazardous occupations in the field of agriculture as opposed to nonagricultural positions, though thoroughly examining the DOL website may prove beneficial in order to avoid fines and other penalties.

source: Indiana child labor laws
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