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McDonald’s Franchisees Fined $212,000 For Child Labor Violations

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(CTN NEWS) – A Labour Department investigation of Kentucky franchisees found 300 children working illegally at McDonald’s restaurants, including two 10-year-olds.

Investigators from the Labour Department found that the 10-year-olds made little to no money at a McDonald’s in Louisville. Each of the three franchisees has been fined $212,000 in total.

24 children under the age of 16 were allegedly employed by Louisville’s Bauer Food LLC, which runs 10 McDonald’s restaurants, to work longer than was permitted by law.

Two of them were kids under the age of ten. The group claims that although they weren’t paid, the kids occasionally worked until two in the morning.

Age For Employment

The Labour Department stated on Tuesday that,

“below the minimum age for employment, they prepared and distributed food orders, cleaned the store, worked at the drive-thru window, and operated a register,”

Adding that one child was also allowed to operate a deep fryer, a task forbidden for employees under 16.

The two 10-year-olds included in the Labour Department’s statement, according to Sean Bauer, owner and operator of the franchise, were visiting their mother, a night manager, and were not actually working there.

Child Visitation Guidelines

In a prepared statement on Wednesday, Bauer said that “any ‘work’ was done at the direction of — and in the presence of — the parent without authorization by franchisee organisation management or leadership,”

Adding that they have subsequently informed staff of the child visitation guidelines.

A Labour Department investigation of Kentucky franchisees found 300 children working illegally at McDonald’s restaurants, including two 10-year-olds.

The kinds of jobs and hours children can work are severely constrained by federal child labour rules.

The Kentucky investigations are a part of the Labour Department’s ongoing effort to eradicate child labour abuses throughout the Southeast, led by the Wage and Hour Division.

The division head, Karen Garnett-Civils, stated that it happens much too frequently for companies to disregard the laws protecting children from child labour.

According to the law, a 10-year-old should never work in a fast-food kitchen near hot grills, ovens, or deep fryers.

Additionally, the department claims that Walton-based Archways Richwood LLC and Louisville-based Bell Restaurant Group I LLC permitted minors between the ages of 14 and 15 to work longer than what was permitted.

A request for comment from Brdancat Management Inc., a division of Bell Restaurant Group, was not immediately answered by Archway Richwood, and they also declined to comment.

According to Tiffanie Boyd, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s USA, “These reports are unacceptable, deeply troubling, and contradict our high expectations for the entire McDonald’s brand.”

We pledge to give our franchisees the tools they need to promote safe workplaces for all workers and to abide by all labour regulations.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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