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A Year Later: YES Registry, New Law Proving Successful

‘The YES system is a major improvement’

Last July when Senate Enrolled Act 409 went into effect, Indiana entered into a modern era of tracking youth employment. The new law did away with work permits for Indiana’s minor employees and established a new Youth Employment Sys-tem (YES) to register and account for employment of minors under 18 years old. Now, a year later, nearly 10,300 employers have registered more than 167,000 minor employees.

“The YES system is a major improvement that our hiring managers and minor employees find easier to use,” said Jose D. Gutierrez, a McDonald’s owner operator in Lake County. “We are able to better manage the employment of minors by quickly and more effectively registering them for work. Our office staff can more accurately and more often audit our restaurants and support our minor employees.”

Bureau of Youth Employment Director David Bennett with the Indiana Department of Labor credits the YES system success to the bureau’s efforts in designing the system, conducting stringent testing, and launching the system in plenty of time to train employers and prepare schools to communicate the change with students and parents.

“Modernizing the law and the process has been an answer to some frustrations that employ-ers, schools and families endured for years,” said Bennet. “But the YES registry streamlines the hiring process for employers and minor employees, making it easier for all involved.”

Employers can access the YES registration app via a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone and registering minor employees only takes about two minutes. Upon termination of employ-ment, the employer must remove the minor’s information from the YES active-employee reg-istry. The employer will have three business days to complete each action.

Schools continue to have the opportunity to monitor which employers are hiring minor em-ployees in their communities via YES and can request public information in the system specif-ic to their students. This enables schools to continue to collaborate with employers to balance a student’s employment and academic performance throughout the school year.

The new YES requirement does not impact the state’s work-hour requirement for minors, and all employers must still comply with the Teen Work Hour Restrictions and Prohibited and Hazardous Occupation restrictions for minors.

The law change, found in Indiana Code 22-2-18.1-26, occurred during Indiana’s 2020 legisla-tive session, and most changes went into effect in 2020, with the exception of the work per-mit elimination and new registration system which was given until July 1, 2021 to go live.

For more information about the new state requirements and the YES registry, click here.