10-Year-Old Children Found Working Until 2 a.m. at McDonald’s

McDonald’s, the fast-food giant that claims to be “lovin’ it”, is facing a major backlash after a shocking report revealed that some of its restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky, employed children as young as 10 years old and forced them to work until 2 a.m.

The Department of Labor stated:

The division investigated Bauer Food LLC, Archways Richwood LLC and Bell Restaurant Group I LLC – three separate franchisees that operate a total of 62 McDonald’s locations across Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio – and found they employed 305 children to work more than the legally permitted hours and perform tasks prohibited by law for young workers. In all, the investigations led to assessments of $212,544 in civil money penalties against the employers.

“Too often, employers fail to follow the child labor laws that protect young workers,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky. “Under no circumstances should there ever be a 10-year-old child working in a fast-food kitchen around hot grills, ovens and deep fryers.”

The division’s investigations found the following:

Bauer Food LLC, a Louisville-based operator of 10 McDonald’s locations, employed 24 minors under age 16 to work more than legally permitted hours. These children sometimes worked more hours a day or week than the law permits, whether or not school is in session. Investigators also determined two 10-year-old children were employed – but not paid – and sometimes worked as late as 2 a.m. Below the minimum age for employment, they prepared and distributed food orders, cleaned the store, worked at the drive-thru window and operated a register. The division also learned that one of the two children was allowed to operate a deep fryer, a prohibited task for workers under 16 years old. The division assessed $39,711 in civil money penalties to address the child labor violations.

People are outraged by this blatant exploitation of innocent children, who should be in school or at home, not slaving away at a fast-food joint for minimum wage.

This scandal exposes the dark side of McDonald’s. They have issued a statement saying that it is “deeply disturbed” by the allegations and that it is cooperating with the authorities. It also said that it has “zero tolerance” for child labor.

But these words are not enough. McDonald’s needs to take concrete steps to ensure that this never happens again. It needs to conduct a thorough audit of all its franchisees and their compliance with labor laws. It needs to provide better training and oversight for its managers and employees. It needs to implement stricter policies and penalties for any violations of its code of conduct.

McDonald’s may be lovin’ it, but we are not.


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