Face Off: Don’t extend hours for teen workers

Caroline Schilling

Caroline Schilling

Shortages of staff are present in numerous restaurants and shops, as this problem has occurred since the beginning of Covid. Many have been hesitant to work during the uncertain times, but many think that allowing teens to work later will solve the shortage of staff.

This, however, is not the case. Indiana laws for teens under 18 are stricter than the laws for those over 18. Many restaurants are hesitant to employ these teens to begin with, as they are not able to offer everything that an adult can. 

For example, these minors who are under 16 are unable to provide their own transportation to and from work. This presents an issue: those who cannot find a ride cannot show up for their shift. If they are unable make it to work some or most of the time, then why hire them? Hiring more teens with this same issue will not do any good, as employers will still need more people who offer what teens cannot. 

State law requires that 14 and 15 year olds are required to clock out by 7 p.m. on school nights. This means their shifts after school are very short. Teens with driving privileges still face a similar issue. Within the first few months of having a license, they are not allowed to be on the roads past a certain time. While they may be allowed to work later, they would still struggle to find transportation. 

Although restaurants are in desperate need of more workers and help during Covid, Indiana law should not be changed for the convenience of businesses.