US McDonald’s franchisees fined for making children work excessive hours | US news

The owners of several McDonald’s restaurants in Pennsylvania have been charged with violating child labor laws, with more than 100 children allegedly working excessive hours.

The US Department of Labor announced Monday that 13 Pittsburgh-area McDonald’s locations violated labor laws designed to protect young employees. An investigation revealed that 101 child employees had worked excessive hours outside authorized periods.

The McDonald’s restaurants were owned by John and Kathleen Santonastasso, who operate Santonastasso Enterprises, based in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

The survey found that 14- and 15-year-olds worked more than three hours a day or more than 18 hours a week during the school week. The miners also worked after 7 p.m. on a school night and after 9 p.m. during summer holidays, which is also a violation.

“Allowing young workers to work excessive hours can compromise their safety, well-being and education,” said Labor Department District Wage and Hour Director John DuMont. “Employers who hire young workers must understand and comply with federal child labor laws or face costly consequences.”

At another McDonald’s restaurant also operated by Santonastasso, a 16-year-old was allowed to operate a deep fryer that did not have a device to automatically raise and lower the baskets.

The Santonastas were ordered to pay a civil fine of $57,332.

The Santonastas told the washington post that they were dealing with planning issues with respect to child labor violations.

“We take our role as a local employer very seriously and regret any scheduling issues that may have arisen at our restaurants,” John and Kathleen Santonastasso said in a statement.

A separate child labor survey conducted earlier this month revealed that a Nebraska sanitation allegedly employed 31 children performing illegal duties for those under 18.

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