Indiana is a “right to work” state, which means that the state’s workers are not required to join unions. However, that doesn’t mean that workers are without protections. The state has a set of laws in place that establish requirements on both employee compensation and work hours. If employers violated these laws, they could face fines from the state. In some cases, employees could file a suit against the employer.
Indiana has a number of laws that address employee compensation. The state’s minimum wage is tied to the federal wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour. If the federal minimum wage increases, then Indiana’s minimum wage will follow suit. Tipped workers can be paid $2.13 per hour plus tips. However, if the combination of wages and tips don’t equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.
Indiana also has rules with regard to hours and breaks. Employees who are required to work more than 40 hours in a given week must be paid the overtime rate for those excess hours. The overtime rate is 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate. Omitting overtime pay could result in a fine. Indiana law doesn’t require a certain amount of breaks. However, breaks that are less than 30 minutes in length must be paid. Breaks that are more than 30 minutes in length don’t have to be paid. Workers under the age of 18 must be given a 30-minute break sometime between their third and fifth consecutive hours of work.
Workers who feel their rights have been violated have several options to resolve the situation. Claims for amounts between $30 and $6,000 can be filed with the state’s Department of Labor. Claims for more than $6,000 may require a lawsuit, in which case the person may be best served by consulting with an employment law attorney.
Source: Findlaw, “Indiana Employment Laws“, December 19, 2014