Burger King Franchisee Fined $50,000 for Child Labor Violations
Minors Allegedly Worked More Hours and Later Than Permissible Under the Law
BOSTON – A West Springfield restaurant management company has been fined for violating Massachusetts child labor laws, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
MHC Services, LLC (MHC), which owns and operates seven Burger King Restaurants in Western Massachusetts, has been fined a total of $50,000 for multiple violations of the state’s Child Labor Laws.
“Our child labor laws are designed to protect minors’ health and well-being by prohibiting their employment in certain jobs and limiting the hours they can work,” AG Coakley said.
In September 2011, the Attorney General’s Office received a complaint alleging child labor violations at one of MHC’s Burger King locations. The AG’s Fair Labor Division conducted an audit of the company’s records and discovered that on numerous occasions between May 2009 and October 2011, MHC employed minors later than 10:00 p.m. on school nights and/or later than midnight on weekend nights. The Investigator also discovered numerous occasions wherein a minor worked more than the maximum number of daily work hours allowed under the Child Labor Laws. The Massachusetts Child Labor Laws include restrictions on both the occupations in which minors may be employed, as well as the hours during which they may work. Another important safeguard in the law makes it illegal for minors to work past 8:00 p.m. without adult supervision.
MHC fully cooperated with the Attorney General’s investigation. As part of the resolution, MHC has enacted several procedures to ensure future compliance with the Massachusetts wage and hour and child labor laws. MCH also agreed to pay $50,000 in penalties to the Commonwealth.
The AG’s Office is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, meal breaks, overtime and misclassification of employees in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the AG’s Workplace Rights website: www.massworkrights.com. Further information about youth employment may also found at www.mass.gov/ago/youthemployment.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Barbara Dillon DeSouza and was investigated by Investigator Christina Proietti, both of Attorney General Coakley’s Fair Labor Division in the Western Massachusetts Regional Office.