Wendy’s Franchises to Pay $250,000 For Child Labor Violations

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By John McCoy

A Wendy’s franchise owner in Michigan will pay just over quarter of a million dollars for violating federal child labor laws.

The Department of Labor levied a $258,249 fine after completing a 2-year investigation into the labor practices of WM Limited Partnerships-1998. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based franchisee operates 53 Wendy’s Restaurants in the Wolverine State. The Labor Department found that all 53 locations were operating in violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

On-site employees like front-line supervisors aren’t always as up to date on legal requirements as they need to be, DOL spokeswoman Rhonda Burke told Bloomberg Law. She reiterated how vital training on such matters can be.

WM Ltd. Partnership could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to the DOL, the 53 franchises employed 422 minors, some as young as 14 years old, tasked with working manual deep fryers, and scheduled to work more than three hours on school days and eight hours on non-school days. Both the deep fryer assignments and the scheduling violated the child labor provisions of the FLSA.

In addition to paying the fine, WM Limited Partnership agreed to train its management staff on child-labor laws, improve its timekeeping practices, and require its younger staff to wear special apparel, making them more easily identifiable to supervisors.

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