OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
2:34 PM – Thursday, May 4, 2023
The United States Department of Labor has reported that two 10-year-old children were discovered performing unpaid employment at a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville.
This comes as the department’s Wage and Hour Division had found three Kentucky McDonald’s franchise operators were in violation of federal labor laws.
Bauer Food LLC had said in a statement that the two 10-year-olds were the children of a night manager and “were not approved by franchisee organization management to be in that part of the restaurant.”
“Any ‘work’ was done at the direction of – and in the presence of – the parent without authorization by franchisee organization management or leadership,” the company said.
Bauer Food LLC, Archways Richwood LLC and Bell Restaurant Group I LLC were taking part in an ongoing effort to stop child labor abuses in the southeast region. The three separate franchisees that operate 62 McDonald’s locations in Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio, had allegedly employed 305 children to work more than the legally permitted hours.
Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky shared a statement.
“Too often, employers fail to follow the child labor laws that protect young workers,” Garnett-Civils said. “Under no circumstances should there ever be a 10-year-old child working in a fast-food kitchen around hot grills, ovens, and deep fryers.”
Following an investigation, it was discovered that Bauer Food LLC, which runs 10 McDonald’s restaurants in Louisville, had illegally hired 24 minors, under the age of 16, which is under the minimum age for employment. To add, the children were working longer hours than was allowed by law. Two 10-year-olds were found to be performing unpaid overtime until 2:00 a.m.
According to the Labor Department, they worked at a drive-thru window, a cashier, cleaned the business, and prepared and distributed meal orders. Investigations revealed that one of the children was permitted to use a deep fryer, which is not permitted for anyone under the age of 16.
Archways Richwood LLC reportedly let 242 children between the ages of 14 and 15 work more than the permitted number of hours. 39 employees between the ages of 14 and 15 were permitted to work outside of and for longer hours than what is authorized by law by Louisville-based Bell Restaurant Group I LLC, which runs four restaurants.
“We are seeing an increase in federal child labor violations, including allowing minors to operate equipment or handle types of work that endangers them or employs them for more hours or later in the day than federal law allows,” said Garnett-Civils said. “An employer who hires young workers must know the rules. An employer, parent or young worker with questions can contact us for help understanding their obligations and rights under the law.”
The specific McDonald’s locations have not been released by the Department of Labor.
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