Deal proposes requirement that would have increased safety for working minors

News & Media, Member Featured

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Ross Deal (D-Mishawaka) today attempted to amend Senate Bill 409, which provides boundaries for the hours a minor can work.

Deal’s amendment would have required employers of minors to collect and maintain their emergency contact information and connect with this contact in the event that the minor is at least one hour late to their assigned shift. It would also have provided a Class B or Class A infraction if they fail to follow this provision.

“Requiring emergency contact information should be a no-brainer for any employer, let alone those employing minors,” Deal said. “When we talk about our teens, we have to be diligent about their safety. Knowing who to call when a child is essentially missing is a great first step to ensuring their wellbeing.”

A recent news story described the tragic loss of a 17-year-old that could have been prevented, had a law like what Deal proposed been in place at the time. The child’s mother, Bonnilee Jackson, has been working diligently toward legislation like Deal’s amendment in her own state of Ohio.

“This amendment would have allowed for Hoosier parents to immediately look for their child, instead of hours later, when anything could have happened,” Deal continued. “What happened to Damian and his family was tragic, and this simple measure could, in effect, save lives.”

The amendment was defeated on the House floor.

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