Unpaid labor by minors as young as 10, sometimes working into the early hours of the morning, has been discovered at McDonald’s establishments in Kentucky. This is part of an increasing trend of child labor violations across the United States.

The investigation involved three McDonald’s franchisees, who between them own 62 outlets spread across Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, and Ohio. The shocking findings revealed that they had employed 305 underage workers, exceeding the legal working hours and engaging the minors in job activities that are unlawful for their age group.

The franchisees were hit with hefty civil penalties, amounting to a total of $212,754, for these egregious offenses.

The companies involved in this scandal include Bauer Food and Bell Restaurant Group, both from Louisville, and Archways Richwood, based in Walton, Kentucky. It is noteworthy that 93% of McDonald’s outlets worldwide are managed by franchisees.

The probe uncovered that these franchisees had 14- and 15-year-olds working beyond the legally permissible hours for minors, even during school hours. Some were found working over the set daily and weekly limits.

This worrying revelation comes at a time when child labor laws are being softened in various parts of the U.S.

Federal child labor violations are on the rise, with minors being allowed to handle hazardous work or work for longer hours or later into the day than federal law permits. Employers hiring young workers must be fully aware of the regulations.

Karen Garnett-Civils, a representative of the labor department

Child labor violations are not new to McDonald’s franchises, with several cases reported recently.

In one instance, a franchise operator of seven McDonald’s outlets in Erie and Warren, Pennsylvania, was penalized for illegally allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work beyond the hours permitted by federal child labor laws. Additionally, they had assigned deep fryer operation duties to nine workers under the age of 16. This violation impacted 154 underage employees and resulted in a fine of $92,107.

Another McDonald’s franchisee in Pennsylvania, who owns 13 outlets in the Pittsburgh area, was fined in December for violating child labor laws with 101 underage workers. This included allowing minors to work past 9 pm, work more than eight hours on school days, more than 18 hours during school weeks, and more than three hours a day and after 7 pm on school days. The franchisee was slapped with a civil penalty of $57,332 for these offenses.

Last June, a McDonald’s franchisee in Tennessee was fined $3,258 for illegally assigning a 15-year-old to operate a deep fryer, a task considered hazardous and not allowed for minors. The minor was injured with a burn in the process.

Just when will enough be enough? This is DEFINITIVE PROOF that these and similar McCorporation’s will do – absolutely anything – and – everything, up to *and* including deliberately scheduling, in real life – actual fucking babies to operate a deep fryer at 4am, instead of just paying people a living wage. LET THAT SINK IN.

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