Department of Labor assesses operators of Utah amusement centers $167K in penalties for child labor violations in Syracuse, West Jordan
SALT LAKE CITY – U.S. Department of Labor investigations into the employment practices of the operators of two Salt Lake City-area entertainment centers have assessed $166,908 in penalties and recovered $6,009 in back wages to resolve violations of federal child labor, minimum wage and overtime regulations affecting more than 100 adults and children they employed.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Syracuse Family Fun Center LLC, operator of The Rush Funplex — indoor family amusement centers — in Syracuse and West Jordan employed 76 children, 14- and 15-years-old, to work longer and later than permitted when school was in session. The employer also employed children in prohibited occupations, including the use of manual fryers, pizza ovens and go-carts.
The division also learned the employer did not pay the legally required minimum wage when they missed payroll for seven employees, including two children. They also found the employer paid straight-time rates for overtime hours to adult employees and one child at the Syracuse location.
“Learning new skills in the workforce is an important part of growing up – but we must protect children and ensure their first jobs are safe and do not interfere with their education or well-being,” explained Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas. “The Fair Labor Standards Act allows for developmental experiences but restricts the employment of young workers in certain jobs and provides for penalties when employers do not follow the law.”
Syracuse Family Fun Center LLC operates The Rush Funplex locations in Orem, Pleasant View, Syracuse and West Jordan, Utah; Shawnee, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri.
“We encourage employers, young workers, their parents and educators to use the many online resources the Wage and Hour Division provides or to contact us for additional guidance,” Campbell added.
The division is currently engaged in a nationwide effort to address a 69 percent increase in the number of children employed in violation between 2018 and 2022. In fiscal year 2022 alone, the division investigated 835 cases with child labor violations and assessed employers with more than $4.3 million in penalties.
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. Learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions.
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. The division protects workers regardless of where they are from and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages through its 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.