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Employment Laws in Indiana

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in Indiana must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee means a person employed by another for wages or salary, but does not include an individual employed by his or her parents, spouse or child, or in the domestic service of another.

Employer means a person employing six or more persons in Indiana, but does not include:

  • a nonprofit corporation or association organized exclusively for fraternal or religious purposes
  • a school, educational or charitable religious institution owned or conducted by or affiliated with a church or religious institution
  • a exclusively social club, corporation or association that is not organized for profit

For purposes of the law against discrimination on account of age, employer means a person in Indiana employing one or more individuals, the state and all political subdivision, boards, departments and commissions, but not religious, charitable, fraternal, social, educational or sectarian corporations or associations not organized for private profit, other than labor organizations and nonsectarian corporations or organizations engaged in social service work; or a person or governmental entity that is subject to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Discriminatory employment practices that exclude an individual from equal opportunities because of the following are prohibited:

  • race
  • religion
  • color
  • sex
  • disability
  • national origin
  • ancestry

Age. It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or rehire any person solely because of age if the person has attained the age of 40 and has not attained the age of 75.

Smokers. An employer may not require as a condition of employment that employees or prospective employees refrain from using tobacco products outside the course of employment.

An employer may implement financial incentives intended to reduce employee tobacco use and related to employee health benefits provided by the employer. An employer can not discriminate against an employee based on the employee's use of tobacco products outside the course of the employee's employment.

Volunteer firefighters. An employer may not discipline an employee who is a volunteer firefighter or volunteer emergency medical services association member for being late to work when the employee is responding to a fire or an emergency call.

Emergency workers. Emergency workers serving on mobile support units are immune from discipline or termination by their employers for serving in their units.

Jury service. If a person is summoned to serve as a juror and notifies his or her employer of the jury summons within a reasonable period of time after receiving the jury summons and before the person appears for jury service, then the person's employer may not subject the person to any adverse employment action as a result of the person's jury service.

An employee can not be required or requested to use annual vacation or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury service; participating in the jury selection process; or serving on a jury. An employer is not required to provide annual vacation or sick leave to an employee who is not otherwise entitled to these benefits.

Alcohol servers. Employers of employees who serve alcohol must make sure that both they and their employees complete a certified alcohol server trainer program.

Service animals. An employer must allow an employee with a disability to keep a service animal, including an autism service animal.

Gun rights. Effective July 1, 2011, employers in Indiana may not require an applicant for employment or an employee to disclose information about whether they own, possess, use, or transport a firearm or ammunition, unless the disclosure concerns a firearm or ammunition that is used in fulfilling the duties of the individual's employment. An employer may not condition employment, or any rights, benefits, privileges, or opportunities offered by the employment, upon an agreement that the applicant for employment or the employee forgo their rights or otherwise lawful ownership, possession, storage, transportation, or use of a firearm or ammunition.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

Every employer must keep true and accurate records of the ages of its employees, as reported by each employee. The records must be open to investigation by the Commissioner of Labor at any reasonable time.

Each employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint management committee covered under Indiana's Employment Discrimination Against Disabled Persons Act must post notices in a format accessible to applicants, employees and members describing the provisions of the law.

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