The US Department of Labor conducted an investigation into the employment of minors at McDonald's franchises owned by Louisville-based Bauer Food LLC. Shockingly, investigators found that two 10-year-old children were employed and made to work without pay, sometimes as late as 2 a.m. These young children were among two dozen minors under the age of 16 employed across 10 McDonald's locations.
In violation of child labor laws, these minors were tasked with preparing and distributing food orders, cleaning the store, manning the drive-thru windows, operating a register, and even operating a deep fryer, which is only permitted for employees over the age of 16.
As a result of the investigation, Bauer Food LLC was forced to pay $39,711 in fines levied by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. While this financial penalty may serve as a deterrent, we must ask ourselves if it is enough to ensure that companies take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to child labor laws and the welfare of their employees.
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