As the elves are busy preparing gifts and toys, one may wonder: Does Santa give them breaks? Will they get a vacation after Christmas? Under Indiana law, employers are not required to provide lunch breaks or short breaks to their employees. Employers are also not required to offer paid vacation days to their employees.
While not required by Indiana law, it is a common practice for employers to offer breaks to their employees. If employers choose to offer breaks, employers must follow federal law when determining compensation for those breaks. If the employer does offer a break as an employment benefit, any break under 20 minutes must be paid. Longer breaks, such as a 30-minute lunch, are not required to be compensated by the employer unless an employee is “working through” their lunch break. These rules change slightly when it comes to minors. Any employees under the age of 18 who are working 6 or more consecutive hours must be granted one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes. This often looks like employers offering two 15-minute breaks during the shift but it could also look like one 30-minute break. In any case, it is important to check your employee contract (or your employee handbook in the absence of an employment contract) to see if you are entitled to breaks throughout your workday.
Employers in Indiana are also not required to offer vacation time to their employees, paid or unpaid. However, many employers choose to offer vacation days as a benefit to their employees. Vacation days help to maintain good morale with employees and can benefit their physical and mental health. If your employer does offer paid vacation days and you decide to leave the company, make sure to check your employee handbook or contract for if, or how, any unused days are to be paid out. Some employers will pay out your remaining days, some will not, and others will put stipulations around a payout, such as requiring a two-week notice.
Indiana has not adopted state-specific labor laws regarding lunch breaks or vacation days (although several neighboring states have their own labor laws, including Illinois and Kentucky). If you have any questions about your employment situation, call us at (317) 825-5110 to discuss any questions you may have. McNeelyLaw has a team of experienced attorneys ready to help you with all your legal needs.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.