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Minor Employees

Discussion of the requirement to provide workers compensation to minor employees.

The Indiana WC statute defines an employee as follows:
"Employee means every person, including a minor, in the service of another, under any contract of hire or apprenticeship, written or implied, except one whose employment is both casual and not in the usual course of the trade, business, occupation, or profession of the employer.” Reference IC 22-3-6-1 (b)

The statute defines a minor under IC 22-3-6-1 (c):
(c)  Minor means an individual who has not reached seventeen (17) years of age.
      (1)  Unless otherwise provided in this subsection, a minor employee shall be considered as being of full age for all purposes of IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6.
      (2)  If the employee is a minor who, at the time of the accident, is employed, required, suffered, or permitted to work in violation of IC 20-33-3-35, the amount of compensation and death benefits, as provided in IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6, shall be double the amount which would otherwise be recoverable. The insurance carrier shall be liable on its policy for one-half () of the compensation or benefits that may be payable on account of the injury or death of the minor, and the employer shall be liable for the other one-half (1/2) of the compensation or benefits. If the employee is a minor who is not less than sixteen (16) years of age and who has not reached seventeen (17) years of age and who at the time of the accident is employed, suffered, or permitted to work at any occupation which is not prohibited by law, this subdivision does not apply.
      (3)  A minor employee who, at the time of the accident, is a student performing services for an employer as part of an approved program under IC 20-37-2-7 shall be considered a full-time employee for the purpose of computing compensation for permanent impairment under IC 22-3-3-10. The average weekly wages for such a student shall be calculated as provided in subsection (d)(4).
      (4)  The rights and remedies granted in this subsection to a minor under IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 on account of personal injury or death by accident shall exclude all rights and remedies of the minor, the minor's parents, or the minor's personal representatives, dependents, or next of kin at common law, statutory or otherwise, on account of the injury or death. This subsection does not apply to minors who have reached seventeen (17) years of age.
The Indiana labor law further breaks out requirements for minors in the 14-15 year old range and in the 16-17 year old range.
For additional information on the employment of minors in Indiana, contact:
From the Child Labor home webpage, there are links to more information. Two pages that may be helpful are the Teen Worker Safety page and Frequently Asked Questions
For questions about Indiana's Child Labor laws, you can email your inquiry to the Bureau of Child Labor at
Indiana Department of Labor
website address: 
402 W. Washington St.
Room W195
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-2655


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The material in this document has been prepared and shared for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any particular situation.