Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has cited 15 retail establishments for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The violations were uncovered when investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division visited 39 establishments at three shopping malls as part of the department’s ongoing initiative to protect the rights and safety of young workers in Alabama. The companies have been assessed penalties totaling $47,602.
“The Wage and Hour Division plans to continue this enforcement program to ensure that young workers’ activities are safe and in compliance with federal law,” said Ken Stripling, the division’s district director for Alabama and Mississippi, who is located in Birmingham.
At Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala., the department cited Great American Cookie Co., Foot Locker, Journeys and American Eagle Outfitters for allowing underage workers to operate power-driven paper product machines, including scrap paper balers and paper box compactors. Manchu Wok was cited for minimum wage and overtime violations. Sarku Japan was cited for overtime and recordkeeping violations. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels was cited for a recordkeeping violation and for allowing a minor to work beyond the hours allowed under the FLSA. Following the investigation of Sarku Japan in Hoover, the company’s Huntsville, Ala., establishment audited its own procedures and paid $49,588 to 132 employees for overtime violations.
At Bel Air Mall in Mobile, Ala., Great American Cookie Co. was cited for allowing underage workers to operate power-driven paper product machines, drive a motor vehicle and be an outside helper on a motor vehicle, and for allowing a minor to work beyond the hours allowed under the FLSA. Claire’s Boutiques and Buckle also were cited for allowing minors to operate power-driven paper product machines. Charlotte Russe was cited for an overtime violation. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Pacific Sunwear were cited for recordkeeping violations.
At Eastdale Mall in Montgomery, Ala., Pacific Sunwear was cited for allowing a minor to operate a power-driven paper product machine. Great American Cookie Co. was cited for recordkeeping violations and allowing a minor to work beyond the hours allowed under the FLSA.
The FLSA prohibits the employment of people under the age of 18 years in any nonagricultural occupations that the Labor Department has declared to be hazardous. Hazardous Occupations Order Number 12 prohibits individuals less than 18 years of age from loading, operating and unloading certain power-driven paper processing machines, including scrap paper balers, paper box compactors, guillotine paper cutters or shears, platen printing presses and envelope die-cutting presses. Minors may not work more than three hours on school days, eight hours on nonschool days, 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours during nonschool 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 until Labor Day).
For more information about the FLSA, youth employment, and the jobs younger workers may perform and the hours they may work, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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