Department of Labor finds Louisiana, Texas McDonald’s franchisees allowed minors to work longer, later than law permits, operate dangerous equipment
In Louisiana, investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division discovered CLB Investments LLC in Metairie employed 72 workers, 14- and 15-years-old, to work longer and later than the law permits at 12 restaurants in Kenner, Jefferson, Metairie and New Orleans. The division determined the employer allowed three children to operate manual deep fryers, a task prohibited for employees under age 16. The department assessed CLB Investments with $56,106 in civil money penalties for violations found at 12 locations, one of which is now closed.
The division also found similar violations at four McDonald’s locations operated in Texas by Marwen & Son LLC in Cedar Park, Georgetown and Leander. Investigators found the company employed 10 minors, 14- to 15-years-old, to work hours longer and later than permitted. They also learned the employer allowed seven children to perform jobs prohibited or considered hazardous for young workers. Specifically, the employer allowed all seven to operate a manual deep fryer and oven, and two of the seven to also use a trash compactor. The department assessed Marwen & Son with $21,466 in civil money penalties for its violations.
“Employers must never jeopardize the safety and well-being of young workers or interfere with their education,” explained Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas. “While learning new skills in the workforce is an important part of growing up, an employer’s first obligation is to make sure minor-aged children are protected from potential workplace hazards.”
These findings follow a May 2023 announcement of federal investigations that found child labor violations by three McDonald’s franchise operators in Kentucky involving more than 300 children at 62 locations in four states.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act allows for appropriate work opportunities for young people but includes important restrictions on their work hours and job duties to keep kids safe,” Campbell added. “Employers are strongly encouraged to avoid violations and their potentially costly consequences by using the many child labor compliance resources we offer or by contacting their local Wage and Hour Division office for guidance.”
The YouthRules! initiative promotes positive and safe work experiences for teens by providing information about protections for young workers to youth, parents, employers, and educators. Through this initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor and its partners promote developmental work experiences that help prepare young workers to enter the workforce. The Wage and Hour Division has also published Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers to help employers comply with the law.
In fiscal year 2022, the division found child labor violations involving 3,876 children nationwide, an increase of more than 60 percent since 2018.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of where they are from. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.