Indiana Labor Laws for the Minimum Number of Hours Off Between Shifts

By Wilhelm Schnotz
Employers aren't required to provide any length of break between shifts in Indiana.

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As a right-to-work state, Indiana's labor laws are designed to protect the freedom of employers to manage their workers as they need in the course of doing business, and Indiana does not regulate its labor market and employer/employee regulations as heavily as other states. Although workers are granted a limited amount of protection by state and federal law, many rights are retained by employers, including those regarding scheduling issues.

Time Between Shifts

In the state of Indiana, there is no legislation limiting the number of hours an employee can work in a 24-hour period, nor are there guidelines for the amount of time required to be granted between shifts. Because of this, employers may schedule workers for shifts less than eight hours, or even four hours, apart if needed without legal retribution or the requirement to pay overtime or make other concessions to employees for scheduling inconveniences.

Overtime and Consecutive Shifts

Although employers may require employees to work as many hours as necessary and around varied shifts, they are still bound by minimum wage laws. Any employee who works more than 40 hours in a 168-hour work week of seven consecutive days must be paid overtime wages for time worked above the 40-hour mark, as mandated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Overtime pay is equivalent to 150 percent of an employee's normal work week wages.

Breaks and Lunch

Just as employers are not required to provide a set amount of rest time between shifts, they are also not required to provide rest breaks or a lunch break under Indiana labor law. If an employer allows workers a break that is less than 20 minutes, employees must be compensated for that break time. Employers can require workers to clock out for lunches that last longer than 20 minutes, although workers who are not compensated for their time must be allowed to leave the workplace or spend time as they choose.

About the Author

Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.