U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Wendy’s Franchisee Paying $258,249 Penalty After Child Labor Violations at 53 Michigan Restaurants
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), WM Limited Partnership-1998, a Grand Rapids-based franchisee of 53 Wendy’s Restaurants, has paid $258,249 in civil money penalties for child labor violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at all 53 of its Michigan restaurants.
WHD investigators determined WM Limited Partnership-1998, which does business as Wendy’s of Michigan, permitted three 14- and 15-year-old employees to operate manual deep fryers and 422 minors to work more than 3 hours on school days or more than 8 hours on non-school days in violation of the child labor provisions of the FLSA.
“Employment standards for 14- and 15-year-olds ensure minors gain a positive work experience that does not interfere with their education, health, and well-being,” said Mary O’Rourke, Wage and Hour District Director in Grand Rapids. “Child labor violations can be avoided when employers understand the rules. We encourage employers to contact us for guidance, and use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them comply with the law.”
WM Limited Partnership has agreed to train store managers and frontline supervisors on child labor laws, conduct regular payroll audits to monitor the work hours of minors, improve time-keeping practices, and require minor employees to wear special shirts, hats, or other identifying markers to help management easily identify them at work.
For more information about the FLSA, child labor provisions and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.