The Michigan branch of the Popeyes franchise has been penalized with a $48,000 fine by the US Department of Labor for permitting minors to work times that breach child labor regulations.

Employer: Michigan Multi-King Inc., doing business as Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen 4897 Rochester Road Troy, MI 48085

Investigation Findings:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation at a Troy Popeyes franchise and found that the establishment was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor standards. The investigation revealed that a total of 63 teenagers, aged 14 and 15, had worked more than the allowed hours during school and beyond the permitted time limits. As per the findings, the employer was assessed a civil money penalty of $48,251 for these violations.

Quote:

Timolin Mitchell, the Wage and Hour District Director in Detroit, stated, “Child labor laws were enacted nearly a century ago to protect children. Far too often, we find teens working hours that are not allowed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers that hire teen labor must ensure they follow the law while allowing teens to earn valuable work experience.”

Background:

The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits 14- and 15-year-old employees from working past 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day, and past 7 p.m. for the rest of the year. They are also not allowed to work more than 3 hours on a school day, 8 hours on a non-school day, or more than 18 hours per week. The law also prohibits minors from operating motor vehicles, forklifts, and using other hazardous equipment.

To help employers avoid violations and educate young workers and their parents, the division has published “Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers.” Interested parties can also access child labor information for employers, parents, young workers, and educators.

In February 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the formation of an Interagency Task Force to Combat Child Labor Exploitation, aimed at aligning federal efforts to protect children from exploitative situations in the workplace. In the fiscal year 2023, the department’s investigators identified child labor violations in 955 cases and imposed penalties of over $8 million on employers.

To learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, access a search tool for back wages collected by the division, or file an online complaint, visit their website. For confidential compliance assistance, both employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of their location.

The agency has also launched a new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices, available in both English and Spanish, to help ensure accurate recording of hours and pay.  

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