Indiana Wage and Hour Laws

Each state has its own wages and hours laws. Some federal laws dictate a minimum amount that the state can't go below, such as the federal minimum wage. However, states can provide more than the federal government's minimum, if desired.

Indiana's wage and hour laws are outlined in the table below.

Code Sections

Indiana Code, Title 22, Article 2: Wages, Hours, and Benefits

Minimum Wage

$7.25 (since 2009). Indiana's minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage. As a result, if the federal minimum wage increases, so will the Indiana minimum wage.

Tipped Workers' Minimum Wage

Tipped workers must be paid $2.13 per hour by the employer with the rest being paid in tips. If the tips don't come out to the minimum wage at the end of the day, the employers must make up the difference and pay the tipped worker more.

Training Wage

Indiana employers can pay an employee under 20 years old $4.25 an hour for the first consecutive 90 days of employment as a training wage.

Overtime Pay

After working 40 hours in a week, employees must get paid "overtime compensation" of at least 1.5 times the employee's regular rate of pay. There are some exceptions to this law.

Meals & Breaks

Indiana doesn't have a law on breaks or lunches. It's up to the employer to decide to give them. However, some federal laws apply, for example, if given a short 5-20 minute break, the time must be paid, however a 30-minute or longer meal break isn't work time and doesn't need to be compensated for.

Also, the Indiana child labor law requires children under age 18 be provided 30-minute lunch periods between their third and fifth hour of work, but there are exceptions.

Leave

Indiana law only requires employers to pay for actual time worked. Thus, sick leave, personal days, and holidays aren't required to be paid, but may be a benefit offered by an employer.

However, even if sick leave isn't paid, the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may apply to your job. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year for the birth or adoption of a baby, to care of a sick family member, or for medical problems.

Child Labor Laws

Children 14 to 18 can work with an employment certificate, although it isn't required for farm labor, babysitting, golf caddying, newspaper delivery, or sports referees, as long as the work’s not during school time. Nor does it apply to child actors or those who've graduated high school. For more information, see the Indiana child labor laws.

Unions and Right to Work

Indiana passed a "right-to-work" law which essentially makes union membership not required and prohibits union security agreements. This is a changing area of law as the Lake County Circuit Court declared it unconstitutional in July 2014. The Indiana Supreme Court stopped the enforcement of this decision until the appeal is over.

Enforcement Agency

If you have a wage claim of $30 to $6,000 against a business in Indiana (but not the state government, a bankrupt business, or where you worked as an independent contractor), then you can file a wage claim with the Indiana Department of Labor. This should be either for paying under the minimum wage, non-payment at all or of overtime or vacation, or an inaccurate payroll deduction.

If you aren't able to utilize the wage claim dispute process through the Department of Labor, you should speak with an Indiana employment law attorney about your options.

Penalties

Indiana law provides for various criminal and civil penalties for employers who break the law. Some examples of penalties include:

  • If an employer consistently terminates employees within 4 weeks of hiring them and replaces them without work stopping, they commit a Class A infraction, subject to up to a $10,000 fine.
  • If an employer discharges or discriminates against an employee because he or she sought to recover wages owed, or pays an employee less than minimum wage, or fails to keep required wage records, commits a Class C infraction, which can be fined up to $500.
  • Intentional violation of the minimum wage law and required postings is a Class A infraction or Class B misdemeanor with a prior violation of the law. The sentence range for a Class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Any employer who fails to pay an employee 10 days after demand of payment will have a penalty of $1 for each subsequent day, not to exceed double the amount of wages due, as well as reasonable attorney's fees for a civil action to collect the debt.
  • An employer who violates the child labor laws can be assessed civil penalties including a warning letter for an initial violation, a $50 or $100 fine for the second violation, a $75 or $200 fine for a third violation, and a $100 or $400 fine for a fourth or subsequent violation(s). The fine amount depends on which child law was violated.

Note: State laws change constantly -- it's important to verify the state laws you are researching.

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