Federal labor department fines 2 St. George Chick-fil-A franchises for child labor violations

ST. GEORGE — Federal investigators have assessed two Chick-fil-A franchises $187,467 in civil penalties for employing 237 minors in violation of child labor provisions, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant near South Auto Mall Drive in St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2023 | Photo by Haven Scott, St. George News

The department reported Friday it recovered nearly $47,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 101 employees at two St. George Chick-fil-A franchise restaurants that required workers to clock out for every break under 20 minutes without compensation.

“We know that good and safe jobs can give young workers meaningful experience and training, but employers must ensure they follow all federal labor laws,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kevin Hunt in the news release. “Employers must also comply with federal laws that protect workers’ rights to their full wages and make sure that young employees’ work experience does not interfere with their education.”

The department’s Wage and Hour Division assessed the restaurants’ operator, DM Holding Co. LLC, with penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act child labor provisions. Division investigators determined the employer illegally allowed 14- and 15-year-old employees to work past permitted hours, and for too many hours in a day.

The employer also incurred overtime violations by not including the missing break time when paying time and one-half the regular rate-of- pay for hours over 40 in a workweek.

Managers at both St. George locations deferred questions from St. George News to the franchise owner, who did not respond to messages or emails by 9 p.m. Friday. Public relations at Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters in Atlanta also did not respond to questions before publication.

“Child labor violations and the failure to pay for all hours of work as well as overtime had costly consequences for this Chick-fil-A franchisee in St. George,” Hunt said.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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