Despite the 2024 legislative session being a short session with a limited agenda, Republicans are finding ways to maximize the amount of harm they can do to Hoosiers. Their latest destructive effort includes stripping minors of child labor protections. House Bill 1093, which Thursday received a second reading, and Senate Bill 146 which Thursday passed committee, would scale back long-standing policies put in place to protect children from being taken advantage of and prevent them from working in dangerous environments.

If these proposals become law, 14-17 year-olds will work later hours, even during the school year. The House Bill also completely repeals hour limits that prevent 16-18 year-olds from working overly lengthy hours, including overnight shifts that no child should be working. The Senate Bill violates federal law by allowing a 14 year-old to work up to 28 hours per week during the school year. Furthermore, this regressive legislation will allow more children to work in “hazardous” situations. Hoosier children deserve workplace protections. 

“The effort by Republican legislators to repeal child protection laws is absurdly irresponsible and dangerous. It is simply unconscionable to allow children to work in hazardous conditions in this day and age,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl. “Why would we allow children to work longer late night hours when we’re talking about holding back an entire school grade this session? Kids today face major challenges, and we should be supporting them with the resources they need to succeed rather than putting them in unsafe and unfair situations.”