Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. -- The East Side Dairy Queen Co., operating a restaurant in East Grand Forks, has paid $11,495 in civil money penalties for violations of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) assessed by the U.S. Department of Labor following investigations by the department’s Wage and Hour Division.
Wage and Hour Division investigators determined that the company allowed individuals under 16 years of age to operate meat slicers, broilers and deep fryers in violation of child labor occupation restrictions. Additionally, in violation of the FLSA’s hour and time standards, employees under age 16 worked over three hours on a school day and as late as 11:15 p.m. throughout the year.
“Every year, young workers are injured while performing prohibited work,” said Jose Medina, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Minneapolis, Minn. “Our goal is to foster safer workplaces and prevent injuries that can change the lives of young workers.”
The FLSA prohibits the employment of people under the age of 18 years in any nonagricultural occupations that the Labor Department has declared hazardous. These dangerous tasks are identified by 17 hazardous occupation orders, one of which requires that employees be at least 18 years old to operate or assist in operating and cleaning power-driven meat slicers.
The FLSA also prohibits individuals 14 and 15 years of age from working more than three hours on school days, eight hours on non-school days, 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours during non-school weeks. The regulations detail that 14- and 15-year-olds may work during non-school hours, but no later than 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day).
For more information on child labor laws, visit the Labor Department’s Web site at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov or call the department’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
In addition to the child labor violations, the Wage and Hour Division’s investigation revealed that this company owed $258 in overtime back wages to three adult employees, which now has been paid.
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