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

Teens as young as 14 worked over three hours after 7 pm at Pittsburgh-area locations.

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The Labor Dept. found child labor violations involving more than 100 minor workers at 13 Pittsburgh, PA, McDonald's locations. The franchisee allowed 14- and 15-year-old employees to work outside permissible hours, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

Labor listed the violations in a press release published Monday:

  • More than 3 hours per day and after 7 p.m. on school days when the law forbids work beyond that time.
  • Later than 9 p.m. on days between June 1 and Labor Day, when they may legally work until 9 p.m.
  • More than 8 hours on a non-school day, and more than 18 hours a week during a regular school week.

In its release, Labor said these all violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and quoted Wage and Hour Pittsburgh District Director John DuMont, who said in part that letting "young workers to work excessive hours can jeopardize their safety, well-being and education."

Labor cited an additional violation in which a 16-year-old worker was allowed to use a deep fryer without proper safety measures.

The McDonald's restaurants in question are owned by Santonastasso Enterprises LLC, and owners John and Kathleen Santonastasso had to pay civil penalties of $57,332 as a result of the investigation.

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