Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
ST. LOUIS -- Build-A-Bear-Workshop Inc. of St. Louis has paid $25,600 in civil money penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Actís (FLSA) child labor provisions disclosed during a recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
Build-A-Bear-Workshop, a retailer specializing in teddy bears, was cited following investigations at its locations in Wichita, Kan., Milwaukee, Wis., Grandville, Mich., West Des Moines, Iowa, and Aurora, Ill., that found violations of the Labor Departmentís hazardous orders regulations, which prohibit specific activities for workers under 18.
Specifically, the hazardous orders violations relate to16- and 17-year-old employees who regularly loaded and/or operated trash compactors. In addition, three minor employees operated and rode in a freight elevator.
"Every year, young employees are injured while performing prohibited work," said Enrique Rodriguez, the Wage and Hour Divisionís district director in St. Louis. ďThe departmentís hazardous orders regulations exist to promote safety and prevent workplace injuries in the nationís youth workforce.Ē
Build-A-Bear-Workshop cooperated fully throughout the investigation and has taken the necessary steps to ensure future compliance, said Rodriguez. The Wage and Hour Divisionís St. Louis District Office coordinated the region-wide investigation as part of an ongoing effort to increase FLSA compliance in the nationís shopping malls.
The FLSA's youth employment provisions identify 17 hazardous orders that prohibit specific activities for workers under 18, one of which requires that employees be at least 18 years old to operate or assist in operating power-driven paper products machines such as scrap paper balers and paper box compactors. The law further states that individuals 14 and 15 years of age may not work more than three hours on school days, eight hours on nonschool days, 18 hours during school weeks or 40 hours during nonschool weeks. Also, 14- and 15-year-olds may work during nonschool hours but no later than 7 p.m. (9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day).
For more information on youth employment laws, visit the Labor Department's Web site at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov or call the departmentís toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
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