Three McDonald’s franchises in Kentucky pay $212,000 in fines after federal investigation finds 305 minors, including 10-year-olds, were working illegally

A franchisee in the Louisville area employed a minor to work later than permitted by law.

Louisville, Kentucky – Working in the kitchen late at night near dangerous utensils is a reality for many adults in the food service industry. However, finding 10-year-olds in such working conditions is cause for concern and action by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Department investigators said Wage/time division Among numerous violations of federal labor laws by three McDonald’s, Kentucky franchisees, police have discovered two 10-year-old employees working at a Louisville McDonald’s restaurant. The investigation is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to stop child labor abuses in the Southeast region.

The department investigated Bauer Foods LLC, Archways Richwood LLC, Bell Restaurants Group I LLC – A total of 3 separate franchisees McDonald’s 62 stores Across Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, and Ohio, 305 people were arrested for working beyond legally permitted hours or forcing young workers to perform work prohibited by law. It turns out that he employs children. The investigation estimated the total civil fines against the employer to be $212,544.

“All too often, employers do not comply with child labor laws that protect young workers,” he explained. Karen Garnett-Sibills, district director of the Wage Hours Division in Louisville, Kentucky. “Under no circumstances should there be a 10 year old working around hot grills, ovens and deep fryers in a fast food kitchen. “

The department’s research found that:

  • Bauer Food LLC, which operates 10 McDonald’s restaurants based in Louisville, employed 24 minors under the age of 16. beyond the time permitted by law. These children, regardless of whether school was closed or not, she could work long hours a day or a week beyond the hours allowed by law. Investigators also revealed that two 10-year-old children were employed but were not paid and sometimes worked until 2 a.m. Under the minimum age for employment, they prepared and distributed food orders, cleaned stores, worked at drive-thru windows and operated cash registers. The police also found that one of the two children was allowed to operate a deep fryer. Work prohibited for workers under the age of 16. The department assessed $39,711 in civil fines to address child labor violations.
  • Walton-based Archways Richwood LLC, which operates 27 McDonald’s restaurants, has allowed 242 minors between the ages of 14 and 15 to work beyond the permitted hours. Most worked earlier or later than allowed by law, exceeding three hours on school days.The department rated employers as: $143,566 Civil monetary fines for violations.
  • Bell Restaurant Group I LLC, based in Louisville, is a large corporation that operates four McDonald’s restaurants, including Jesse Bell I, Jesse Bell V, and Bell Restaurant Group II, which operates 20 more restaurants in Maryland. Part of Brdancat Management Inc. Indiana and Kentucky. The department found that employers had allowed 39 workers aged 14 and 15 to work overtime as permitted by law. Some of these children worked in excess of daily and weekly limits during school days and school weeks, and her employer allowed two of them to work during school hours. bottom. To address child labor violations, the department rated the employer $29,267 civil fine. Investigators also found that employers systematically failed to pay overtime pay to workers, resulting in the department recovering $14,730 in unpaid wages and settling damages. 58 employees.

Federal child labor regulations limit the types of work that minor employees can perform and the hours they work. The 14 year old and her 15 year old time limits include:

  • Work must be done outside of school hours.
  • 3 hours on school days including Fridays, and 8 hours on non-class days.
  • Class hours are 18 hours or less, and non-class hours are 40 hours or less per week.
  • 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, except June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9:00 pm.

Garnett Civils said, “There are federal child labor violations, such as allowing minors to operate equipment or perform hazardous work, or employing them for longer hours or late at night than allowed by federal law.” It is increasing,” he said. “Employers who employ young workers must know the rules. Employers, parents or young workers with questions should contact us to understand their obligations and rights under the law. please.”

While most child labor violation cases involve minors being forced to work late beyond the hours allowed by law, the Department found that 688 minors were illegally employed in hazardous occupations in fiscal 2022. This was the highest annual number since 2011.Elderly man injured while using deep fryer at McDonald’s in Morristown, Tennessee in June 2022.

“One child injured on the job is too much. ,” added Garnet Civils.

The Wages & Hours Department provides multiple tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and offers confidential compliance assistance over the phone for those with questions about how to comply with the law. The agency’s toll-free helpline, 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). In this department, you can speak to callers in over 200 languages. The department also recently released his seven child labor best practices for employers.

For more information on the Wages and Hours Department, please visit the agency’s website., include information on the protection of young workers in of the department Youth rules! website.

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