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3 McDonald's Franchisees to Pay Thousands in Fines for Child Labor Law Violations Three separate franchisees will pay more than $200,000 in fines for allowing young employees to work more than is legally allowed.

By Madeline Garfinkle Edited by Jessica Thomas

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McDonald's in in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three McDonald's franchisees will shell out thousands of dollars in fines following an investigation that found minors working illegally at 62 locations across Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio.

Bauer Food LLC, one of the restaurant operators being fined, employed 24 minors who worked more than legally allowed across its 10 locations — including two 10-year-olds who weren't paid but sometimes worked as late as 2 a.m.

"Too often, employers fail to follow the child labor laws that protect young workers," Karen Garnett-Civils, wage and hour division district director for the Department of Labor in Louisville, Kentucky, said in a press release. "Under no circumstances should there ever be a 10-year-old child working in a fast-food kitchen around hot grills, ovens and deep fryers."

In a statement to Entrepreneur, McDonald's noted that the 10-year-olds were children of a night manager. "We have since taken steps to ensure our policy regarding children visiting a parent/guardian at work is clear to all employees," the company said.

Archways Richwood LLC, which operates 27 McDonald's locations, allowed 242 minors between the ages of 14 and 15 to work beyond the allowable hours for employees under the age of 16.

Bell Restaurant Group I LLC, which operates four McDonald's locations, allowed its 39 employees between the ages of 14 and 15 to work more than and outside of the legally allowed hours, two of whom were found to be working during school hours.

Related: Labor Dept. Investigation Finds McDonald's Franchisee Violated Child Labor Laws

"We are seeing an increase in federal child labor violations, including allowing minors to operate equipment or handle types of work that endangers them or employs them for more hours or later in the day than federal law allows," Garnett-Civils said in the release. "An employer who hires young workers must know the rules."

In total, the three franchisees will pay $212,754 in fines for the violations: Bauer Food LLC will pay $39,711; Archways Richwood LLC will pay $143,566; and Bell Restaurant Group I LLC will pay $29,267.

"These reports are unacceptable, deeply troubling and run afoul of the high expectations we have for the entire McDonald's brand," said Tiffanie Boyd, senior vice president and chief people officer at McDonald's. "It is not lost on us the significant responsibility we carry to ensure a positive and safe experience for everyone under the Arches."

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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