After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Mt. Airy Partners Inc. – a Summerfield, North Carolina-based enterprise operating 12 McDonald’s restaurants in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Region – has paid a civil money penalty of $17,586 for violating child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The WHD investigation determined Mt. Airy Partners employed 35 employees, ages 14- and 15-years-old, across its 12 locations. The employer violated child labor requirements by allowing minors to work outside of the hours allowed for that age group, when the law limits their hours to working no more than three hours on a school day and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the period of Labor Day through June 1. The employer also violated FLSA recordkeeping requirements when it failed to maintain proof of age for most of its minor employees.
“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. Employers must not allow 14 and 15-year-olds to work beyond legally permitted hours,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “We encourage all employers to review their employment obligations and to contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions they may have.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA, child labor and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.