Two 10-Year-Olds Found Working Unpaid Overnight Shifts At McDonald’s

An investigation into a Kentucky McDonald’s restaurant found that two 10-year-old kids had been working unpaid overnight shifts until nearly 2 a.m., the U.S. Department of Labor revealed in a statement. The children are said to have been preparing and serving meals in a Louisville branch of the fast food giant. They worked the cash registers and drive-thru window, cleaned floors, and even operated the deep fat fryer.

The shifts often went late into the night, and authorities said that the kids weren’t paid by McDonald’s, likely because it’s illegal for children to have jobs in Kentucky. The children, whose names have remained private due to their ages, were also said to have had access to “dangerous equipment” that employees under the age of 16 should not be allowed near.

Bauer Food, LLC, which owns the Louisville McDonald’s as well as 10 others across two states, employed the two kids. However, owner Sean Bauer claimed in a statement that the kids were simply visiting their parent, who works as a night manager. He further insisted that any work the kids did was directed by their parent rather than by McDonald’s as a company.

However, that seems to be a load of BS, especially since three franchisees who own more than 60 McDonald’s restaurants in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, and Indiana were discovered to have “employed 305 children to work more than the legally permitted hours and perform tasks prohibited by law for young workers,” per the Department of Labor’s statement.

“Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division found two 10-year-old workers at a Louisville McDonald’s restaurant among many violations of federal labor laws committed by three Kentucky McDonald’s franchise operators,” the statement added.

In total, the three franchisees face a collective fine of $212,754 for child labor violations. As Karen Garnett-Civils, the wage and hour division district director for the DoL, said: “Too often, employers fail to follow the child labor laws that protect young workers. 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.”

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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