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Indiana Employment Law

Indiana’s biggest industries include automotives, life sciences (such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals and some agriculture) and transportation, each of which falls under a diversified manufacturing industry. These sub-industries are expected to grow with a rising labor force participation rate and a falling unemployment rate going into 2017 and beyond.

As the Hoosier state’s economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, it faces a challenging year with civil rights in the workplace. Among other commonplace employment issues like wage theft, discrimination and harassment remain a major concern for many workers especially in the wake of new legislation.

Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker’s compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. Indiana employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.

Common Indiana Employment Law Issues

Did you return to work from pregnancy leave to find that your boss cut your hours as an excuse to give you more time with your newborn? Maybe your coworkers made some distasteful jokes about your Muslim heritage in the break room. These are just a couple of examples of workplace discrimination, a common problem that Indiana’s employment laws address.

Discrimination in the workplace occurs when a co-worker, senior employee or the employer themselves harasses a worker or impacts their relationship with the company in offense to one or more their protected class characteristics, including:

  • Race
  • Religious beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex
  • Citizenship status
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ancestry and genetic information

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace discrimination is a hot employment law topic in Indiana. State law lists sexual orientation as a protected characteristic but the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act complicates legal matters. The act allows employers to exercise their religious beliefs in hiring, termination and promotional decisions.

Despite the act, several cities and counties protect LGBT workers with anti-discrimination ordinances. Among these local governments are:

  • Indianapolis and Marion County
  • Bloomington
  • Lake County
  • Michigan City
  • Lafayette

Indiana Minimum Wage

Indiana still mirrors the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour as of January 2017 with little sign of change anytime soon. Two bills to raise the minimum wage above the federal rate were proposed by Democratic senators, but may not garner enough support in the state’s largely Republican senate.

Indiana Legal Holiday Laws

If your boss scheduled you to work on a holiday, you may be entitled to receive a premium pay rate if your employment contract or company policy requires it. Indiana law doesn’t require employers to provide premium holiday pay for hours worked on a legal holiday.

Private employers are also not obligated to provide workers with time off, paid or unpaid, on holidays. State government employers, however, are required to provide paid time off for holidays. The following are Indiana’s legal holidays:

  • January 1, New Year’s Day
  • Third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day
  • Friday before Easter Sunday, Good Friday (government/public holiday only)
  • Last Monday in May, Memorial Day
  • July 4, Independence Day
  • First Monday in September, Labor Day
  • November 11, Veterans Day
  • Fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (government/public holiday only)
  • December 25, Christmas Day
  • Day after Christmas Day OR the following Monday if Christmas Day is on a weekend, George Washington’s birthday (government/public holiday only)

Get Help from a Indiana Employment Attorney

If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it’s in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced Indiana employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.

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