Changes To The Contract
An employer may establish business hours, working schedules and other employment terms. An employee may place conditions on these terms. Common law contract principles apply to contract changes made by either party. Thus, an employer may not change any terms of the employee’s contract without the employee’s consent. Such consent may be express (by the employee agreeing to the change) or implied (by the employee continuing to work for the employer without protest for an appropriate period after being made aware of the change). Any change of terms to which the employee does not consent will amount to a breach of contract.
Change In Ownership Of The Business
There are no special rules which apply when there is a change in the ownership of the business regarding employees. Generally, when there is a change in ownership of a business, all employees are automatically transferred to the new employer on the same terms and conditions. As Indiana is an at-will employment state, an employee may refuse to transfer to the new employer by resigning his or her position. However, a non-compete agreement may not be transferable to a new employer unless transferability or assignability is provided for in the agreement.
However, businesses must notify the Indiana Department of Workforce Development whenever there is a complete or partial transfer of an organization, trade, or business for purposes of unemployment insurance premiums.
Social Security Contributions
Both employees and employers must make social security contributions. Employers are not required to contribute toward allowances payable to employees during their employment.
Accidents At Work
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) governs when work accidents may be reported. The Indiana equivalent statute for workplace safety is the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Act. I.C. § 22-8-1.1 et. seq. The handling of work-related injuries is governed by the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act, which, in most cases, prevents employees from suing employers directly for work-related accidents. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board handles workers’ compensation issues. Indiana employers, with certain exceptions, are required to insure their workers’ compensation liability by either purchasing workers’ compensation insurance through a company authorized by the state or, for employers seeking to self-insure, by furnishing the Workers’ Compensation Board with an application and satisfactory proof of financial ability to pay compensation as provided in the workers’ compensation statute.
Discipline And Grievance
There are no laws mandating a discipline or grievance process for private sector employees who are not part of a collective bargaining unit. The discipline or grievance process for private sector employees who are a part of a collective bargaining unit is governed by the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Along with federal laws, the Indiana Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating, directly or indirectly, in terms and conditions of employment based on: race, religion, national origin, color, sex, disability, or ancestry. The Indiana Age Discrimination statute also protects individuals ages 40-75 years old from employment discrimination based solely upon age. Indiana law also prohibits an employer from terminating an employee because he or she has provided evidence in connection with a complaint under the Indiana Civil Rights Act.
Protected classifications under the Indiana Civil Rights Law include: race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, and ancestry (See Ind. Code § 22-9-1-1, et seq). It is also an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee on the basis of status as a veteran. I.C. § 22-9-10-9. A separate statute provides that persons with disabilities are to be employed in public positions on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved (See Ind. Code § 16-32-3-5). There is no specific cap on damages, however, damages are generally limited to back wages.
Employers cannot pay employees of one sex at wage rates that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions in the same workplace. Employers that violate the equal pay law cannot reduce any employee's wage rate to comply with the law. However, employers can pay different wage rates pursuant to seniority, merit, or piece-rate systems or any factor other than sex.
Compulsory Training Obligations
There are no compulsory training obligations, but some trades/professions will impose their own standards and expectations.
Employers may deduct wages (make “assignments”) for thirteen enumerated purposes provided the employee gives written authorization and the authorization is revocable. The limited purposes include: (1) payments for insurance premiums, (2) contributions or pledges to a charitable or non-profit organization, (3) purchase price of U.S. bonds and securities, (4) purchase price of shares of stock in the employing company, (5) dues to a labor organization, (6) purchase price of merchandise sold by the employer to the employee, (7) amount of a loan made to the employee by the employer, (8) contributions to a hospital service or a surgical or medical expense plan or to a plan existing for the purpose of paying a judgment owed by the employee, (9) payment to any credit union, non-profit organizations, or associations of employees of such employer organized under U.S. law, (10) payment to any person or organization for electronic deposit or credit of funds, (11) premiums or policies of insurance and annuities purchased by the employee on the employee’s life, (12) purchase price of shares or fractional interest in shares in at least one mutual fund, (13) a judgment owed by the employee (so long as pursuant to agreement between employee and creditor and not a garnishment), (14) purchase, rental, or use of uniforms or other job-related clothing at an amount not to exceed the direct cost paid by the employer to an external vendor for the items, (15) purchase of equipment or tools necessary to fulfil the duties of employment at an amount not to exceed the direct cost paid by an employer to an external vendor for those items, (16) reimbursement for education or employee skills training, (17) an advance for payroll or vacation pay, and (18) the employee's drug education and addiction treatment services under IC 12-23-23. I.C. § 22-2-6-2.
Employers may also deduct for reimbursement of an overpayment to an employee as long as the employer gives the employee two weeks’ notice before amounts are deducted from the employee’s paycheck. An employer may not deduct an amount in dispute and is restricted from deducting any amount greater than 25% of the employee’s disposable earnings or the amount by which the employee’s disposable earnings exceed 30 times the minimum wage (whichever is less). However, if a wage overpayment is equal to 10 times the employee’s gross wages because of a misplaced decimal point, the entire overpayment may be deducted immediately. Other restrictions apply to deducting employees’ wages. I.C. § 22-2-6-4.
Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave
Indiana generally does not have requirements for maternity leave, although teachers have a special provision, found at I.C. § 20-28-10-5. Further, outside the context of worker’s compensation and paid disability leave provided to workplace injuries, Indiana does not provide paid disability leave.
Health Insurance is not required by Indiana law; however, individuals may be subject to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties
The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act governs military leave and reinstatement following such leave. Indiana’s Military Family Leave Act permits the spouse, parent, grandparent, child or sibling of a person who is ordered to active duty to take an unpaid leave of absence upon written notice for 10 days during a one-year period. Military family leave is also provided for under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. I.C. § 22-2-13-1, et seq.
Members of U.S. armed forces reserves may take up to 15 days unpaid (or paid at employer’s discretion) leave per year for training. Leave does not affect vacation, sick leave, bonus, or promotion rights. Employee must be reinstated to former or a similar position with no loss of seniority or benefits. I.C. § 10-17-4-1 et. seq.
Works Councils or Trade Unions
The National Labor Relations Act governs employees’ right to organize. Indiana makes it a Class B criminal misdemeanor for a person to prevent another person from forming or belonging to a labor organization. Indiana law also provides that no Indiana worker or group of workers who are Indiana residents can be denied the right to select his or her bargaining representative or be denied the right to organize into a local union or association. See Zoeller v. Sweeney, 19 N.E.3d 749 (Ind. 2014); (holding that Indiana’s Right to Work law, on its face, does not violate Indiana’s Constitution.)
Employees’ Right To Strike
Employees have the right to strike, see discussion of Collective Bargaining Rights in U.S. Federal Law section.
Employees On Strike
For a discussion of whether an employer may fire employees who are on strike, see Collective Bargaining Rights in U.S. Federal Law section.
Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees
Employers are responsible for the actions of their employees unless the employee is acting outside the scope of his or her employment.