Wendy’s in Lehigh Valley fined after feds’ probe of child labor law violations

Written by on June 15, 2022

Wendy’s in Lehigh Valley fined after feds’ probe of child labor law violations

By Hayden Mitman
June 15, 2022

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The owner of several Wendy’s restaurants in the Lehigh Valley has been fined after investigators said they found violations of child labor laws regarding the hours minors worked and the machinery they operated.

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The U.S. Department of Labor fined Philly LIV Bacon LLC after an investigation found children worked shifts longer than permitted by law at five Wendy’s locations. 

The Labor Department’s Alfonso Gristina said the rights of employees – aged 14 and 15 – were violated at establishments located in Allentown, Easton, Pottstown and Whitehall.

“There were 18 minors that were employed outside the parameters of what’s permitted with respect to the time of day that they can work or the number of hours per week that they could work,” he said.

Some of the workers, he said, were also required to operate grease fryers, which minors are only permitted to do if the baskets raise and lower automatically. 

Gristina said the operator has agreed to pay more than $15,000 in fines and will enter an enhanced enforcement program to prevent future violations. 

With more minors entering the workforce in the summer – and an ongoing labor shortage –  the Labor Department expects to see more frequent child labor violations, according to Gristina. 

“As we look at the post pandemic economy, we see employers, due to labor shortages, dipping lower into the labor pool,” he said. “That means hiring 14- and 15-year-olds and there are regulations that need to be complied with.”  

For more information or to report violations, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

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