A Kentucky-based franchise best known for its popular fast-food restaurants has been hit with a six-figure fine for allegedly violating child labor laws.
The U.S Department of Labor said in a news release Friday that Manna Inc. will have to pay a $$157,114 penalty after investigators found hundreds of minors were working illegal hours at 99 Manna-operated Wendy’s and Fazoli’s restaurants in nine states, including 18 restaurants in the Louisville area.
The agency says Manna Inc. violated the federal Fair Labor Standards by allowing teenage employees, aged 14 and 15, to work “outside of legally approved hours and for more hours than allowed by law”.
It was alleged that 446 minors worked before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on school nights, worked more than three hours on a school day or worked more than eight hours on a non-school day – all FLSA violations.
“Child labor laws exist to ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health and well-being or educational opportunities,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils, in Louisville, Kentucky. “We encourage all employers to review their employment obligations and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance.
The violations were found at restaurant locations in Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The business operates 136 Wendy’s restaurants, 28 Golden Corral Buffet and Grill restaurants, 84 Fazoli’s restaurants, six Mark’s Freed Store restaurants, 11 Blaz Pizza outlets, alongside a Napa River Grill, Jimmy John’s and the Layover Bar, according to the official website.