A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found 11 Treasure Valley McDonald’s locations violated child labor laws.
Darmody Enterprises, the operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Idaho, has paid $50,000 in penalties to the federal government for allowing 14 and 15 year old employees to work longer hours than allowed under the law. The release did not name specific locations, but they were in Boise, Nampa and Meridian.
The investigation found Darmody scheduled employees under 16 to work more than three hours during school days, past 7 p.m. on school days, more than 8 hours on non-school days and past 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day. The employees were also allowed to operate manual fryer baskets, which is also a violation. Darmody also violated the law by failing to maintain accurate proof of age for one underage employee.
“Our organization is committed to providing a safe, compliant and enriching workplace for our employees,” Rick Darmody, owner and operator of the restaurants, said in an email from a spokesperson. “To ensure that we are in full compliance with all laws and regulations, we are implementing several protocols including a mandated, bi-annual manager and crew training focused on child labor laws. Additionally, we’ve posted visible signage within our restaurants noting which equipment is off-limits to those under 16 years of age and are enforcing of any shift changes, including duration and frequency, to be approved by management. We continue to evolve and enhance our training and practices to safeguard our employees, who remain our priority.”
“Child labor laws exist to strike a balance between providing a meaningful work experience for young people and keeping them safe on the job so that the work does not jeopardize their health and well-being or educational opportunities,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Thomas Silva, in Portland, Oregon said in the press release. “Employers should evaluate their employment practices to ensure that they comply, and avoid violations like those found in this case.”