McDonald’s franchisee penalized for illegally employing minors

Two 10-year-olds were among 300 youngsters who worked unlawfully at McDonald’s restaurants, according to a Labor Department probe of Kentucky franchisees.  

The 10-year-olds were discovered to have earned little or no compensation at a McDonald’s in Louisville, according to Labor Department investigators. The franchisee for the Louisville location was one of three McDonald’s franchisees penalized a total of $212,000 by the department.  

According to the agency, Louisville’s Bauer Food LLC, which operates 10 McDonald’s outlets, employed 24 kids under the age of 16 to work longer hours than legally permitted. Two of them were 10-year-old children. According to the organization, the children sometimes worked until 2 a.m. but were not paid. 

“Below the minimum age for employment, they prepared and distributed food orders, cleaned the store, worked at the drive-thru window and operated a register,” the Labor Department said Tuesday, adding that one child also was allowed to operate a deep fryer, which is prohibited task for workers under 16. 

Franchise owner-operator Sean Bauer said the two 10-year-olds cited in the Labor Department’s statement were visiting their parent, a night manager, and weren’t employees. 

“Any ‘work’ was done at the direction of — and in the presence of — the parent without authorization by franchisee organization management or leadership,” Bauer said Wednesday in a prepared statement, adding that they’ve since reiterated the child visitation policy to employees. 

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