The US Department of Labor has uncovered more than 300 cases of illegal child labor at McDonald's fast-food franchises in several states. In one case in Louisville, Kentucky, two children were as young as 10, the ministry said. It fined three operators a total of around $212,000.
The operator of the McDonald's branches in Louisville, the entrepreneur Sean Bauer, told CBS News on Tuesday that the two ten-year-olds had visited their parents while they were working at night. Your presence in the part of the restaurant was not approved by the branch management. And any work they might have done, they would have done at the direction of their parents. According to the Labor Department, the two were unpaid and sometimes worked until 2 a.m. One of the two children even operated a deep fryer, which is forbidden for employees under the age of 16.
In a total of 305 cases, inspectors from the Ministry of Labor found violations of the applicable law. According to the announcement, the underage employees - with the exception of the two ten-year-olds - were between 14 and 15 years old. Among other things, they are subject to restricted working hours of a maximum of three hours a day on school days and eight hours on school holidays up to a maximum of 7 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. from June to September.
In addition to Bauer Food, franchises Archways Richwood and Bell Restaurant Group were also under scrutiny, the ministry's announcement further reveals. Together they operate 62 McDonald's locations in Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio. Further statements from the companies concerned were not initially known.