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DOL Fines McDonald's Franchise Owner for Overtime and Child Labor Violations

July 14, 2010

In a blog from last month, our California Employment Attorneys discussed a recent initiative introduced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to enforce child labor laws by implementing stronger penalties against employers who violate child labor laws. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis stated that work involving children must not interfere with school, must be appropriate to the age of the child, and must be conducted in a healthy and safe work environment, as young workers are one of the DOL's top priorities.

In a recent lawsuit settlement announced this week, a Baltimore County McDonald's franchise owner must pay around $30,500 in child labor penalties and back wages as a result of breaking child labor laws and failing to pay young employees for overtime hours.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, the McDonald's franchise was found to be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act's, (FLSA) child labor laws, with 14- and 15-year-old McDonalds employees working longer than the legal limit of three hours on a school day, and also working late into evenings.

The FLSA states that individuals who are age 14- and 15-years-old may not work earlier than 7am in the morning, or later than 7pm in the evening, unless they are working in the summer, from June 1 through Labor Day, in which case they can work until 9pm. Workers who are under the age of 16 are only able to legally work limited after-school hours, and the types of jobs and hours that 14- and 15-year-olds can work are also restricted by FLSA laws.

The owner of the McDonald's franchise has reportedly paid $20,502.05 in back wages for overtime hours to the five child workers, two of which are still working for the restaurant. The franchise will also pay $9,990 in monetary penalties for violating child labor laws.

John Kelly, acting director of the DOL's wage and hour division in Baltimore claimed that fast food restaurants must compensate young workers according to law and have the legal responsibility to ensure that minors employed in the restaurants work appropriate hours, according to child labor laws.

Phoenix McDonald's Fined for Child Labor Violations, The Baltimore Sun, July 13, 2010

McDonald's Franchise Owner 'Supersizes' Paychecks, ABC News, July 13, 2010

US Department of Labor Announces Stiffer Penalties for Illegal Employment of Children, PR Newswire, June 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Department of Labor (DOL): Youth Rules