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Indiana Department of Labor

DOL > Wage & Hour > Wage & Hour FAQs Wage & Hour FAQs

  1. Wages
    1. Minimum Wage
    2. Overtime
    3. Tipped Employees
    4. Underpayment/Non-payment of Wages
    5. Deductions
    6. Fringe Benefits
    7. Payroll Practices
  2. Hours
    1. Hours of Work
    2. Mandatory Overtime
    3. Discipline/Suspension/Termination
    4. Breaks/Lunches
    5. Vacation
  3. Common Construction Wage (Repealed July 1, 2015)
  4. Other Helpful Links
    1. Unemployment
    2. Workers Compensation
    3. Federal Overtime/Minimum Wage Issues
    4. Discrimination
    5. Family Medical Leave (FML)

Wages

Minimum Wage

Q: Is my employer required to pay minimum wage or overtime?
A: Most Indiana employers and employees are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); however those not covered under federal law may still be covered by the Indiana Minimum Wage Law.

For more information on differences between Federal and Indiana State Minimum Wage, please visit http://www.in.gov/dol/files/Explanation_of_Minimum_Wage.pdf .

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Q: If I am a waiter or waitress and earn tips, is my employer still required to pay me minimum wage?
A: Tipped employees must be paid at least the minimum wage. The employer is required to pay a base hourly wage of $2.13 an hour. If the employee is not compensated at a rate equal to the minimum wage after adding any tips he/she received to the base hourly wage of $2.13 an hour, the employer must pay the employee the difference. If the employee earns more than the minimum wage after adding the tips he/she received to the hourly wage of $2.13 an hour, the employer has fulfilled his/her obligation. A tipped employee means any employee engaged in an occupation in which he/she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.

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Overtime

Q: Is my employer required to pay minimum wage or overtime?
A: Most Indiana employers and employees are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); however those not covered under federal law may still be covered by the Indiana Minimum Wage Law. For more information on differences between Federal and Indiana State Minimum Wage, please visit http://www.in.gov/dol/files/Explanation_of_Minimum_Wage.pdf .

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Q: What is the overtime law?
A: Both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Indiana Minimum Wage Law generally require employers to pay employees 1½ times their regular rate of pay (“overtime compensation”) when employees work more that forty (40) hours during a work week. However, there are many exceptions to the overtime pay requirements of both federal and state law. Most of the exceptions to Indiana state law can be found at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title22/ar2/ch2.html . Overtime claims should be made directly to the federal U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division at the nearest regional office, or at the Indianapolis District Office. If you have specific questions, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at (317) 226-6801 or the Indiana Department of Labor at (317) 232-2655.

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Q: Can my employer force me to work overtime?
A: Generally, yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract that states otherwise, employers in Indiana may set their work hours at their own discretion. The employee may be required to work longer or later hours. In general, there are no laws that define how much notice must be given to the employee or how many hours an employee may work in one shift. Some industries, such as transportation and trucking, may have different safety rules that would require hour limits.

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Q: Do I get paid overtime if I work more than 8 hours in a day?
A: Typically, no. Federal and state overtime laws only require payment of overtime when an employee works more than 40 hours in a work week. Some collective bargaining agreements and/or contracts will, however, state that the employee must be paid one and one half times his/her regular rate of pay when working more than 8 hours in a day. This is set on a company-by-company basis, but is not a requirement under state or federal law.

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Q: Can minors (under 18 years of age) be paid less than minimum wage?
A: Employees under 20 years of age may be paid a "training wage" of no less than $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive days of work. After 90 days, the minor must be paid minimum wage. It is unlawful to terminate a minor's employment to avoid having to pay the full minimum wage.

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Tipped Employees

Q: If I am a waiter or waitress and earn tips, is my employer still required to pay me minimum wage?
A: Tipped employees must be paid at least the minimum wage. The employer is required to pay a base hourly wage of $2.13 an hour. If the employee is not compensated at a rate equal to the minimum wage after adding any tips he/she received to the base hourly wage of $2.13 an hour, the employer must pay the employee the difference. If the employee earns more than the minimum wage after adding the tips he/she received to the hourly wage of $2.13 an hour, the employer has fulfilled his/her obligation. A tipped employee means any employee engaged in an occupation in which he/she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.

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Q: Can my employer collect my tips and then distribute them out to other employees?
A: In many cases, yes. This is called "tip pooling" or "tip sharing." Employers may require that tips/gratuities be pooled and distributed among certain employees (usually the front of the house only) as a mechanism for ensuring that gratuities are shared by all employees in the chain of customer service. A “gratuity” is defined in the Labor Code as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons. Tip pools, whether voluntary or mandatory, are permitted for restaurant employees as long as:

  • Tip pool participants are limited to those employees who contribute to the chain of service bargained for by the patron;
  • No employer or agent of the employer takes or receives any part of the tips intended for employees; and
  • The tips are distributed among the pool participants in a fair and reasonable manner.

Directly obtaining tips for redistribution is not required, nor is having a written agreement or written policy.

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Underpayment/Non-payment of Wages

Q: I didn’t get paid. What can I do?
A: First, ask your employer why you haven’t received your paycheck and document any reason the employer gives for not paying you. If the employer refuses to give you your paycheck, you can file an Application for Wage Claim with the Indiana Department of Labor or consult a private attorney about your rights and how you should proceed. Employees who have been involuntarily separated from employment (laid off or fired) must file a wage claim with the Indiana Department of Labor before proceeding to file a civil lawsuit to recover wages. An employee who is still employed or separates from employment voluntarily (quits) may either file a wage claim or file a private lawsuit to seek recovery of wages. The Indiana wage claim form may be completed online at http://www.in.gov/dol/2734.htm, by visiting the Indiana Department of Labor office or by printing the form from the Indiana Department of Labor website. Please read all instructions and information provided with the form. This form must be completed in its entirety and printed forms must be returned to the address shown in the upper right corner of the form.

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Q: Is there a limit to the amount of a wage claim the Department of Labor will accept?
A: Yes, the minimum amount is $30 and the maximum amount is $6,000. Indiana law establishes these limits. If you believe you are owed more than $6,000 in wages, you should consult a private attorney about your rights and how you should proceed.

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Q: How long does it take to resolve a wage dispute (wage claim)?
A: The actual time required may vary, depending upon the parties’ cooperation and the volume of claims filed. Most wage claims are processed in under 90 days. Filing a wage claim does not guarantee payment.

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Q: When is an employee’s final paycheck due?
A: Final wages must be paid on or before the next regularly scheduled payday on which the employee would have been normally paid had the employee remained employed.

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Q: Can an employer change an employee’s rate of pay?
A: Unless covered by a collective bargaining agreement or other form of pay guarantee, an employer can change an employee's rate of pay as long as the reduction does not bring an employee's wage below the applicable federal or state minimum wage. To avoid potential liability, the employer should notify the affected employee prior to his/her working at the reduced rate. 

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Deductions

Q: Can an employer fine an employee and take it out of his or her paycheck?
A: No. An employer is not permitted under Indiana law to fine an employee and deduct the amount from his/her pay. After an employee receives his/her full check, however, an employer may ask an employee to pay him/her back for loans, goods or services rendered to the employee or for damage to company property. An employer may terminate an employee and/or file a lawsuit for failure to repay these types of debts.

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Q: If I am overpaid, can my employer deduct the amount of the overpayment from my paycheck?
A: Indiana law permits employers to deduct the amount of overpayment from an employee's paycheck. However, the employer must notify you in advance and there is a limit to the amount that can be deducted from each paycheck.

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Q: Can my employer make deductions from my paycheck?
A: Indiana law requires three conditions to be met in order for a wage deduction to be valid:

  1. The agreement for the deduction must be in writing, signed by the employee, by its terms revocable at any time by the employee upon written notice, and agreed to in writing by the employer.
  2. A copy of the deduction agreement must be delivered to the employer within ten days of its execution.
  3. Only certain categories of deductions are allowed, including:
    • premiums on an insurance policy obtained for the employee by the employer;
    • contributions to a charitable organization;
    • purchase price of bonds, securities or stock of the employing company;
    • labor union dues;
    • purchase price of merchandise sold by the employer to the employee;
    • amount of loan made to the employee by the employer;
    • contributions of the employee to a hospital service or medical expense plan;
    • payment to an employee's direct deposit account;
    • uniform or equipment purchase, rental or use necessary to fulfill the duties of employment, provided that the total amount of wages assigned may not exceed the lesser of: (A) $2,500 per year ($48.08 weekly); or (B) 5% of the employee's weekly disposable earnings;
    • reimbursement for education or employee skills training, unless the education or employee skills training was provided through an economic development incentive from a federal, state, or local program;
    • an advance for payroll or vacation pay; and
    • merchandise, goods, or food offered by the employer, for the employee's benefit, use, or consumption, at the written request of the employee. 

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Q: Can my employer deduct the cost of uniforms from my paycheck?

A:  Indiana law does now (effective July 01, 2015) allow employers to deduct from an employee’s pay the cost of uniform (and equipment) purchase, rental or use necessary to fulfill the duties of employment.

However, there are some important stipulations.  The total amount of wages assigned may not exceed the lesser of: (A) $2,500 per year ($48.08 weekly); or (B) 5% of the employee's weekly disposable earnings.  Further, according to federal law (see FLSA Fact Sheet #16) pay deductions cannot be made which reduce an employee’s wages below minimum wage nor may that deduction for the cost cut into overtime compensation required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

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Fringe Benefits

Q: How do I know if I qualify for Family Medical Leave?
A: Covered employers are required to post a notice explaining the rights and responsibilities under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and general written information about employee rights and obligations. For further information, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at:

  • Indianapolis District Office
    US Dept. of Labor
    ESA Wage and Hour Division
    U.S. Courthouse
    46 E. Ohio Street
    Room 413
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Phone: (317) 226-6801
    http://www.dol.gov

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Q: Is my employer required to pay me for sick days, personal days and holidays?
A: No. Indiana law only requires that employers must pay employees for actual time worked. As a result, employers are not required to pay for sick days, personal days, or holidays.

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Q: Is my employer required to provide me with fringe benefits (i.e. insurance, sick days, vacation days, retirement, 401k, etc.)?
A: Generally, there are no laws that require an employer to provide any employees with fringe benefits, such as vacations, sick leave, health insurance, pensions or profit-sharing plans. But if the employer does provide those benefits, an employee cannot be denied benefits or receive lower benefits because of his or her age, disability, race, color, sex, national origin, or religion.

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Payroll Practices

Q: Can an employer change an employee’s rate of pay?

A: Unless covered by a collective bargaining agreement or other form of pay guarantee, an employer can change an employee's rate of pay as long as the reduction does not bring an employee's wage below the applicable federal or state minimum wage. To avoid potential liability, the employer should notify the affected employee prior to his/her working at the reduced rate. 

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Q: When I leave my employment, is my former employer required to pay me for any accrued vacation time?
A: Accrued vacation pay is considered a form of compensation. An employee may be entitled to a pro rata share of his/her accrued vacation at the time of termination. If there is a company policy or employment contract stipulating that certain conditions must be met before accrued vacation pay will be paid, these conditions must be met in order to receive accrued vacation pay. Vacation policies are generally left to the discretion of the employer.

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Q: Does my employer have to pay me for mandatory meetings?
A: Generally, yes. An employer must compensate employees for time spent on the job when the employee is subject to the employer's control and direction.

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Q: Is my employer required to pay me for sick days, personal days and holidays?
A: No. Indiana law only requires that employers must pay employees for actual time worked. As a result, employers are not required to pay for sick days, personal days, or holidays.

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Q: How can I determine if I am an employee or an independent contractor?
A: Correctly determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is an important matter and misclassification can have serious consequences. It can affect whether a worker is protected by several workplace laws covering minimum wage and overtime, safety and health, illegal discrimination, etc. It can also affect the tax liability of the worker and whether the worker is covered by insurance in case of accident or injury. If you are unsure whether you are an employee or an independent contractor you may want to contact the Internal Revenue Service and request Form SS-8. Complete the form and return it to the Internal Revenue Service at the address listed on the form. Based on the information provided, they will make a determination as to your status as an employee or independent contractor. You may contact the IRS at (800) 829-3676 or access their website at http://www.irs.gov/ . You may also want to consult a knowledgeable attorney about your employment status.

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Q: Can an employer require an electronic direct deposit?
A: Yes. Indiana Code § 22-2-5-1(a) states, “Every person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, or association, their trustees, lessees, or receivers appointed by any court, doing business in Indiana, shall pay each employee at least semimonthly or biweekly, if requested, the amount due the employee. The payment shall be made in lawful money of the United States, by negotiable check, draft, or money order, or by electronic transfer to the financial institution designated by the employee. Any contract in violation of this subsection is void.”

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Q: Do I have to be paid for "on-call" time?
A: Generally, you are only required to be paid for time while you are under the direction and control of your employer. An employee who is required to remain "on-call" at home, or who is allowed to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not considered to be working while "on-call." However, an employee who is required to remain "on-call" on the employer's premises is considered to be working while "on-call."

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Q: May an employer provide pay statements to its employees electronically?
A: Yes. Indiana Code § 22-2-2-8 requires employers to provide employees with statements of their hours worked, wages paid, and deductions taken from the paycheck. However, the method of provision is not specified. Therefore, in and of itself, an electronic method would not violate Indiana’s wage and hour statutes.

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Hours

Q: When is an employee’s final paycheck due?
A: Final wages must be paid on or before the next regularly scheduled payday on which the employee would have been normally paid had the employee remained employed.

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Hours of Work

Q: Can my employer require me to work on holidays?
A: Generally, yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract that states otherwise, employers in Indiana may set their work hours at their own discretion. Some employers will pay twice the employee's rate of pay for working on a holiday as an incentive or benefit to their employees, but this is not required by law. Unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement or contract, the employee is only entitled to his or her regular rate of pay for working a holiday. If an employee is overtime eligible and works more than 40 hours during the work week, he/she would be compensated at one and one half times his/her regular rate of pay for all time worked past 40 hours.

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Q: My employer has me working two shifts but is only giving me a few hours off in between. Can they do that?
A: Generally, yes. There is no law that requires a certain number of hours between shifts. Some industries, such as transportation and trucking, may have different safety rules that would require a certain number of hours between shifts.

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Q: Can my employer force me to work overtime?
A: Generally, yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract that states otherwise, employers in Indiana may set their work hours at their own discretion. The employee may be required to work longer or later hours. In general, there are no laws that define how much notice must be given to the employee or how many hours an employee may work in one shift. Some industries, such as transportation and trucking, may have different safety rules that would require hour limits.

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Q: Do I get paid overtime if I work more than 8 hours in a day?
A: Typically, no. Federal and state overtime laws only require payment of overtime when an employee works more than 40 hours in a work week. Some collective bargaining agreements and/or contracts will, however, state that the employee must be paid one and one half times his/her regular rate of pay when working more than 8 hours in a day. This is set on a company-by-company basis, but is not a requirement under state or federal law.

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Q: Can my employer send me home early from a shift? Does he/she have to pay me for it?
A: Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract stating otherwise, employers are free to set their work hour policies at their own discretion. If the employer determines he does not need you to complete your shift, he/she may ask you to leave early. Under the wage and hour statutes, an employee is only required to be paid for hours he/she actually worked.

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Mandatory Overtime

Q: Can my employer force me to work overtime?
A: Generally, yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract that states otherwise, employers in Indiana may set their work hours at their own discretion. The employee may be required to work longer or later hours. In general, there are no laws that define how much notice must be given to the employee or how many hours an employee may work in one shift. Some industries, such as transportation and trucking, may have different safety rules that would require hour limits.

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Q: Can my employer require me to work on holidays?
A: Generally, yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement or contract that states otherwise, employers in Indiana may set their work hours at their own discretion. Some employers will pay twice the employee's rate of pay for working on a holiday as an incentive or benefit to their employees, but this is not required by law. Unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement or contract, the employee is only entitled to his or her regular rate of pay for working a holiday. If an employee is overtime eligible and works more than 40 hours during the work week, he/she would be compensated at one and one half times his/her regular rate of pay for all time worked past 40 hours.

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Q: Does my employer have to pay me extra for working on a Saturday/Sunday/Holiday?
A: Some employers will pay twice the employee's rate of pay for working on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday as an incentive or benefit to their employees, but this is not required by law. Unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement or contract, the employee is only entitled to his or her regular rate of pay for working a holiday. If an employee is overtime eligible and works more than 40 hours during the work week, he/she would be compensated at one and one half times his/her regular rate of pay for all time worked past 40 hours.

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Discipline/Suspension/Termination

Q: Can my employer terminate me for no reason?
A: Generally, yes. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement or contract providing otherwise, Indiana employers may hire, fire, promote, demote, layoff, suspend, set their own work hours and policies at their discretion. Employers may not discriminate against their employees because of their age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or disability.

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Q: Can I be fired even if I have a doctor's note?
A: Generally, yes. Indiana employers may hire, fire, promote, demote, layoff, suspend, set their own work hours and policies at their discretion. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act, however, offers some protection for employees taking time off for illness. If you have questions concerning Family and Medical Leave and whether it applies, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division in Indianapolis at (317) 226-6801.

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Q: Can I do anything about untrue statements that my former employer has made about me to a potential employer?
A: Indiana has a Blacklisting law which permits employers to disclose only truthful facts about an employee's termination. If you believe your former employer has made untrue statements about you, you must request copies of any written correspondence from a former employer to a potential employer within 30 days of applying for a job with the potential employer. You may wish to consult a private attorney about any remedies for violation of the Blacklisting law.

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Breaks/Lunches

Q: Are employers required to provide breaks to employees?
A: Indiana state law does not generally require employers to provide rest breaks, meal breaks, or breaks for other purposes to adult employees. Minor employees (under 18 years of age) who work six or more hours in a shift must be given one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. These breaks may be taken at any point during the minor's shift. Indiana Administrative Code 610 IAC 10-3-1 requires break logs to be maintained by the employer to document all breaks provided to minor employees.

Certain other categories of workers, such as airline pilots, truck drivers, and workers covered by a union collective bargaining agreement may be entitled to mandatory breaks under other applicable regulations or by contract. Check with the appropriate regulatory agency or with your union representative.

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Vacation

Q: Can my employer mandate when I use my vacation time?
A: Yes. Vacation time is considered a fringe benefit and is up to the discretion of the employer.

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Q: Is my employer required to pay me for sick days, personal days and holidays?
A: No. Indiana law only requires that employers must pay employees for actual time worked. As a result, employers are not required to pay for sick days, personal days, or holidays.

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Common Construction Wage

REPEAL: Effective July 1, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly repealed the Indiana Common Construction Wage Act (Indiana's Prevailing Wage Law) effective July 1, 2015. A copy of the Enrolled Act may be found online at: www.in.gov/dol/files/2015_HEA_1019.pdf .

Contractors working on Common Construction Wage projects awarded prior to July 1, 2015 must continue to comply with the Common Construction Wage Act as it existed prior to the repeal, and workers must be paid at or above the established wage and fringe benefit rates for the duration of the project. For a list of adopted Common Construction Wage (Prevailing Wage) Scales, please visit www.in.gov/dol/2840.htm .

Unless federal or state law provides otherwise, a public agency may not establish, mandate or otherwise require a wage scale or wage schedule for a public works contract awarded by the public agency after July 1, 2015.

Work performed on federally-funded projects covered by Davis-Bacon and Related Acts is not affected by the repeal. For information about Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, please visit www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/dbra.htm .

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Other Helpful Links

Unemployment

Q: Who do I contact with questions about unemployment compensation or unemployment insurance?
A: The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is the regulatory agency that deals with unemployment and unemployment related issues. For all unemployment questions, please contact the DWD by phone at (800) 891-6499 or visit their website at www.in.gov/dwd .

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Workers Compensation

Q: Who do I contact with questions about Workers Compensation issues?
A: The Worker's Compensation Board is the regulatory agency that deals with all issues related to Worker's Compensation. For all questions related to Worker's Compensation, please contact the Workers Compensation Board by phone at (800) 824-COMP or visit their website at http://www.in.gov/wcb/ .

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Federal Overtime/Minimum Wage Issues

Q: Who do I contact with questions about federal minimum wage or overtime issues?
A: Questions concerning federal Minimum Wage and Overtime should be directed to the United States Department of Labor. They may be contacted by phone at (317) 226-6801.

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Discrimination

Q: I feel as if my employer is discriminating against me. What can I do?
A: It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based upon age, race, color, gender, disability, religion or country of national origin. If you feel your employer is discriminating for any of these reasons, you may wish to contact the Indiana Civil Rights Commission at (317) 232-2600.

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Q: Is it possible to have an individual’s criminal record expunged or sealed?
A: Possibly. The Indiana Legislature passed a new law that took effect July 1, 2013. The law allows for expungement or sealing of certain criminal records. Information published by the Indiana Clerk of Courts may be found online at: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/admin/files/pubs-trial-court-44-expungement-statute.pdf.

The Indiana Department of Labor cannot give legal advice. If you have questions or need advice about expungement or sealing of criminal records, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney.

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Family Medical Leave (FML)

Q: How do I know if I qualify for Family Medical Leave?
A: Covered employers are required to post a notice explaining the rights and responsibilities under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and general written information about employee rights and obligations. For further information, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at:

  • Indianapolis District Office
    US Dept. of Labor
    ESA Wage and Hour Division
    U.S. Courthouse
    46 E. Ohio Street
    Room 413
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Phone: (317) 226-6801
    http://www.dol.gov

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Q: Who do I contact with questions about Family Medical Leave (FML)?
A: Questions concerning Family Medical Leave (FML) should be directed to the United States Department of Labor. They may be contacted by phone at (317) 226-6801.

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