- McDonald’s forced children as young as 10 to work without pay until 2 a.m., according to the Department of Labor.
- The franchise owner told Insider that the kids were visiting their parents, who worked as night manager.
- Kids were working at the register and driving around in the car, and one kid was allowed to use a deep fryer.
The Department of Labor said a McDonald’s restaurant in Kentucky was fined for hiring two 10-year-olds without pay and sometimes making them work as late as 2 a.m.
The two children were employed by Power Foods, the department that operates 10 McDonald’s restaurants in Louisville, the department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Labor Department said the two children were preparing and distributing food orders, cleaning the restaurant, working from a car window, and managing a register.
Investigators also found that one of the 10-year-olds was allowed to work in a deep fryer, a “task prohibited for workers under the age of 16,” according to the release.
Power Food told Insider that the two kids were visiting their parents — a night manager at one of his restaurants — and had not been approved by management to be in that part of the restaurant.
According to Bauer Food, any work done by children was directed and in the presence of their parents. The operator said the child labor was never authorized by management or franchise leadership.
Bauer Food added that it has ensured that its employees are now clear about the company’s policy regarding children visiting their parents or guardian at work.
“Under no circumstances should a 10-year-old work in a fast-food kitchen around hot grills, ovens, and skillets,” said Karen Garnett Civils, director of the Wage and Hours Department in Louisville, Kentucky. In the statement of the Ministry of Labor.
The Department of Labor also found that Bauer Food allowed 22 other teens under the age of 16 to work more hours than legally allowed. Under federal labor law, children ages 14 to 15 can work up to 40 hours in a non-school week and 18 hours during a school week.
[بور]Food was fine was $39,711, the department said. Two other McDonald’s operators – Archways Richmond and Bell Restaurant Group – were also fined for allowing minors to work outside of legally permitted hours.
“These reports are unacceptable, deeply troubling, and run counter to the high expectations we have for the entire McDonald’s brand,” Tiffany Boyd, vice president and director of personnel for McDonald’s USA, told Insider in a statement. “We have not lost our great responsibility to ensure a positive and safe experience for everyone under the arch.”
Boyd added, “As a mother whose teenage son proudly works at the local McDonald’s, I feel this on a very personal level.” “We are committed to ensuring that our franchisees have the resources they need to promote safe workplaces for all employees and maintain compliance with all labor laws.”
On the other hand, Garnett Civils said the Labor Department is seeing an increase in federal child labor violations.
In June 2022, a 15-year-old McDonald’s employee in Morristown sustained heavy oil burns while using a deep fryer, according to the Department of Labor.
“One child injured on the job is one too many. Child labor laws are in place to ensure that when young people work, the job does not endanger their health, welfare or education,” Garnett-Civils said.
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