Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
SAN FRANCISCO -- An employer in business to entertain children put its own young employees at risk. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions at nine Chuck E. Cheese's locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Labor Department assessed $28,225 in penalties as a result.
Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division's San Francisco District Office determined that eight establishments violated Hazardous Occupations Order 12 by allowing a total of 16 minors to load and operate on-site trash compactors. Additionally, two minors were allowed to operate a dough mixer at a ninth location in violation of Hazardous Occupations Order 11.
"We all want young workers to develop the skills and experience necessary to compete in the marketplace, but safety must never be sacrificed in the process," said Ruben Rosalez, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division's Western Region. "Employers have an obligation to ensure minors are not performing tasks that could be harmful, which is why these child labor rules were established. The Wage and Hour Division remains committed to strict enforcement of these laws to protect our youngest workers."
CEC Entertainment Inc., the Irving, Texas-based company that does business as Chuck E. Cheese's at 497 locations throughout the United States, agreed to comply with the federal regulations and has paid the civil money penalties. The employer removed keys from compactors, instructed minor employees not to operate the prohibited equipment and applied stickers to the equipment warning that use by minors is prohibited.
The FLSA prohibits workers under age18 from being employed in any nonagricultural occupations that the Labor Department has declared to be hazardous. There are 17 hazardous occupations orders. Hazardous Occupations Order 12 prohibits individuals under age 18 from loading, unloading and operating certain power-driven paper processing machines, including scrap paper balers and paper box compactors. The prohibitions concerning balers and compactors extend to trash compactors. Hazardous Occupations Order 11 prohibits minors from operating most vertical or horizontal mixers for dough, batter and various other items.
For more information on child labor laws, visit the department's YouthRules! website at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov. The site is designed to educate employers, young workers, educators and parents about child labor, including information about the jobs minors may perform and the hours they may work. For additional information, call the Wage and Hour Division's San Francisco office at 415-625-7720 or the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available online at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.