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Indiana Rules for Employing Minors

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 7, 2013.

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Employers in Indiana must conform with these state rules relating to the employment of minors.

In Indiana, a minor who is more than 14 but less than 18 years of age may not be employed in any gainful occupation until the employer secures and places on file in the place of employment an employment certificate. Employment certificates are issued by a school official, such as a guidance counselor or school social worker.

Employment certificates must state the maximum hours that the child can be employed. Also, a child may hold more than one employment certificate. The issuing officer is required to keep a record of each employment certificate issued and a record of the maximum hours that the child may work each week for all employers.

An employment certificate may be revoked by its issuing officer if the officer determines that there has been a significant decrease in the student's grade point average or school attendance since the permit was issued.

Employment Certificate Exceptions

An employment certificate is not required for a minor under 18 who has graduated from high school.

During the hours when the minor is not required to be in school, an employment certificate is not required for a minor between 14 and 18 years of age to:

  • perform farm labor
  • perform domestic service
  • act as a caddie
  • act as a newspaper carrier

Rules for minors employed in the performing arts. Employment certificates are not required for employment in the performing arts, but a minor may not be employed except under the following conditions:

  • the activities must not be detrimental to the life, health, safety or welfare of the minor;
  • the activities must not interfere with the schooling of the minor and provision will be made for the educational equivalent to full-time school attendance in the public schools for minors under age 16;
  • a parent or guardian must accompany each minor under 16 years old at all rehearsals, appearances and performances; and
  • the employment or appearance must at no time be in a cabaret, dance hall, night club, tavern or other similar place.

Rules for minors employed in youth athletics. Minors at least 12 years of age employed as youth athletic program referees, umpires, or officials are not required to obtain an employment certificate for such work. For the exception to apply, the minor must be certified by a national certification program and limited to serving as a referee, umpire or official for an age bracket younger than the minor’s own age.

In addition, one of the following requirements must be met:

  • the minor must work with a person who is at least 18 years of age and also working as a referee, umpire or official at the same event the minor is working and must have on file the original or a copy of a written consent signed by the minor’s parent or guardian; or
  • the minor’s parent or guardian must be present at the athletic event.

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