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Who Will Ace This Eight Question Indiana HR Law Test? Who Will Ace This Eight Question Indiana HR Law Test?

Who Will Ace This Eight Question Indiana HR Law Test?

I was so inspired this week by Buzzfeed’s ability to identify my personal “spirit animal” based on my answers to trivia questions about unicorns, Harry Potter villains and American Girl dolls, I present to you this Indiana HR Law Test. And, rather than giving you the answers now, I invite you to send me an email with your answers (with your name and address (work or personal)). The first ten people to “Ace” this test will receive a “prize selected especially for them.” (Thank you Bob Eubanks). Whether or not you enter, the answers will be revealed here in five days so please check back then. 

…and away we go!
June 24, 2021 UPDATE: The answers have been added below.

Question 1: Your company prohibits employees from carrying any weapons into the office. Employee Walter Sobchak tells you he has a constitutional right to carry a firearm and an Indiana license that authorizes it. You say “No” and remind him of the company’s policy. The next day, Walter brings his firearm to work but it is hidden in his pocket and unloaded. Does Indiana law prohibit the company from terminating him? “Yes” or “No”?

No, Indiana law does not prohibit the company from terminating Walter. Although Indiana has a workplace weapons law that permits an employee to bring a weapon to work and keep it in their locked vehicle (I.C. 34-28-7-2), an employer may prohibit the carrying of firearms inside the workplace. With the increase of workplace violence incidents, I suggest that this be made clear in an employer’s Employee Handbook.

Question 2: Your company pays employees their full pay when they miss work due to serving on a jury. Employee Cindy Lumet tells you she was just summoned to serve as a juror in a criminal trial that is probably going to last for at least three months. You tell her that, despite the company’s policy, it cannot pay her for three months. You explain that, as a reasonable accommodation, the company will pay her for one month. Did this limitation violate Indiana law? “Yes” or “No”?

Yes, this violates Indiana law (I.C. 33-28-5-24.3). Although employers are not required to pay employees for time away from work to serve on a jury, this law prohibits employers from subjecting an employee to any adverse employment action as the result of their jury service. Here, if the company’s policy has been to pay employees the difference between their regular pay and their jury duty pay, its decision to treat Cindy differently would violate the law. Keep in mind too that this law prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that an employee use their annual leave, vacation leave, or sick leave for time away from work to: (a) respond to a summons for jury service; (b) participate in the jury selection process; or (c) serve on a jury. Many Indiana employers place a limit on the period of time during which an employee will receive the difference between their regular pay and the amount they receive from the court to serve on a jury. Two weeks maximum is very common.  

Question 3: Your company obtains a contract to produce two times the products it normally manufactures. This requires around the clock shifts. The company tells employees that to meet its customer’s needs, their usual 30-minute lunch breaks will be limited to 10 minutes. Does this violate Indiana law? “Yes” or “No”?

No, this would not violate the law. Indiana has no required meal or break time laws, other than for minors.

Question 4: Employee Bob Garvin works for a private company and he receives a Performance Improvement Plan due to unsatisfactory performance. Bob objects to the PIP and states he is being discriminated against unlawfully due to his age. He demands to review his personnel file. Does Indiana law require the company to allow him to review that file? “Yes” or “No”?

No, Indiana law does not require the company to allow Bob to see his personnel file. Indiana, unlike many other states, does not have a mandatory disclosure law applicable to private companies regarding personnel files. However, keep in mind that if an employee wants to review their medical records, an employer must permit this pursuant to federal OSHA regulations. In addition, from an employee relations perspective, it may be appropriate to permit the review (with an HR representative present). Note that some employees of state agencies do have the right to access their personnel file information pursuant to I.C. 4-1-6-1, et seq.

Question 5: Employee Carl B. Dizihead lives in Illinois and works in Indiana. He has a medical condition that qualifies him for a medical marijuana card from the state of Illinois. Carl comes to work and seems out of it. You ask him to report to a lab for a drug test. The test result is positive for marijuana. Does Indiana law prohibit the company from terminating Carl’s employment due to the fact that he has the state-issued medical marijuana card? “Yes” or “No”?

No, Indiana law would not prohibit Carl’s termination. Indiana does not (yet) have a medical marijuana law. If one is enacted in the future, the answer to this question may change.

Question 6: Your CEO, Ilana Musk, excitedly tells you about a newly invented tiny device that can be implanted painlessly into an employee’s hand. The device, based on RFID technology, is a substitute for ID and security cards. It allows an employee to clock in and out, open locked doors, and it will never be misplaced. Ilana bought 100 of these devices and tells you she wants to give $500 to each employee who agrees to be implanted. You tell her that if an employee volunteers for the implant, it is legal under Indiana law. Are you correct? “Yes” or “No”?

No, that is not correct. The company’s offer of money renders this unlawful pursuant to I.C. 22-5-8-1. Indiana is rarely on the cutting edge of employment laws, but it is one of a handful of states that now have laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee (or prospective employee) to have any device implanted into their body. The law also prohibits an employer from requiring implantation “as a condition of receiving additional compensation or other benefits.” Therefore, if the company made it absolutely voluntary for an employee to be implanted by the device, it would be lawful under this statute. This is not so far-fetched as it may seem. We should expect that implanted devices will become more widely available in the future and that many employees will find that implantation is a benefit to them and outweighs their personal privacy concerns.

Question 7: Employees purchase food items at your company’s snack bar by swiping their ID cards. Employees pay for their items through payroll deductions. The company obtained prior written authorization from each employee on a short form that states: “I authorize the deduction from my paycheck of amounts charged by me at the snack bar.” Each employee and a company representative signed the payroll deduction authorization form on the same date. Is the deduction lawful? “Yes” or “No”?

No, for a couple of reasons. First, this deduction is not lawful because the form does not comply with Indiana’s wage assignment law (I.C. 22-2-6-1). To be lawful, a wage deduction must be for a reason described in the law, and the deduction authorization form itself must state that it is “revocable” by the employee. Second, although a deduction for food purchased by the employee is permitted by this law, the law also states that the deduction must be at the “written request of the employee” (I.C. 22-2-6-2(b)(6)) and the easiest way to accomplish this would be to insert that language into the wage deduction form.

Question 8: Your employee, Martin Kratts, is the Chief Pilot for your company, a private airline carrier. Martin was elected to the Indiana State Senate last year. Senator Kratts comes to the HR department and says he will have to take a leave of absence for three months when the Legislature is in session. You tell him he has a critical position and cannot be permitted to take a leave of that length. Does the law require the company to grant him this requested leave of absence? “Yes” or “No”?

No, Indiana law does not require the company to allow Sen. Kratts to take the leave. I.C. 2-3-3 et seq. requires an employer to grant a leave to a state legislator does not apply to private companies. It applies only to public employers that are political subdivisions or state educational institutions. I.C. 2-3-3-2.5(a).  

Thank you for playing….send your answers to

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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