News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Fines New Orleans Restaurant For Violating Child Labor Laws After Minor Suffers Oil Burns

NEW ORLEANS, LA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Jacques-Imo Café – a restaurant based in New Orleans, Louisiana – has paid $55,288 in civil money penalties for violating multiple child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators found the restaurant violated child labor provisions by employing a 13-year-old, which is below the minimum employment age of 14 years. This minor suffered third-degree burns over more than a third of his body when he tripped and fell as he carried hot oil which he emptied from the kitchen's deep fryer. The FLSA prohibits minor employees from cleaning fryers when the oil temperature exceeds 100 degrees. The investigation also found that this minor, along with a 15-year-old employee, worked beyond the hours permitted for employees less than 16 years old. These minors worked past the evening hour limit of 7:00 p.m. during the school year, or 9:00 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, when they worked as late as 1:00 a.m. The minors also worked more than 40 hours per week, more than 8 hours on a non-school day, more than 3 hours on a day when school is in session, all in violation of the law.

"The child labor provisions of the FLSA ensure minors gain a positive work experience that does not hinder their education and well-being," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton in New Orleans, Louisiana. "Companies can avoid child labor violations, penalties, and injuries by understanding and abiding by the FLSA's child labor provisions. We encourage employers to reach out to us with any questions and to take advantage of the many tools available to them to help them comply with the law."

Children under 14 who are covered by the FLSA may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations. Youth under 18 are prohibited from operating, setting up, adjusting, repairing, oiling, or cleaning machines deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Youth ages 14 and 15 may be employed outside school hours in a variety of non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions.

The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, electronic toolkits, and in-person visits to local WHD staff.

Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at, www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce. WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
September 24, 2019
Release Number
19-1436-DAL
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
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