Moms Justice is dedicated to supporting and protecting the rights of children and their families. We are appalled by the recent discovery of child labor exploitation at three McDonald's franchises in Kentucky. In today's blog post, we will discuss the details of the investigation, the consequences for the franchises involved, and the importance of holding fast-food chains accountable for their actions. We believe in justice, and we stand by our commitment to ensure the rights and well-being of all children are protected.
The US Department of Labor conducted an investigation into the employment of minors at McDonald's franchises owned by Louisville-based Bauer Food LLC. Shockingly, investigators found that two 10-year-old children were employed and made to work without pay, sometimes as late as 2 a.m. These young children were among two dozen minors under the age of 16 employed across 10 McDonald's locations.
In violation of child labor laws, these minors were tasked with preparing and distributing food orders, cleaning the store, manning the drive-thru windows, operating a register, and even operating a deep fryer, which is only permitted for employees over the age of 16.
As a result of the investigation, Bauer Food LLC was forced to pay $39,711 in fines levied by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. While this financial penalty may serve as a deterrent, we must ask ourselves if it is enough to ensure that companies take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to child labor laws and the welfare of their employees.
The exploitation of child labor at these McDonald's franchises is a stark reminder of the need for vigilance, not just by the government but also by the public, to hold companies accountable for their actions. As consumers and as members of our communities, we must demand that businesses prioritize the well-being of their workers and adhere to all labor laws.
We hope McDonald's and other fast-food chains to take immediate action and ensure that such incidents do not occur again. This includes providing better training and supervision for franchise owners, implementing stronger policies to protect workers, and conducting regular audits of their franchises.
At Moms Justice, we are committed to fighting for the rights and protection of children and their families. The child labor exploitation at these McDonald's franchises is a sobering reminder of the need for all of us to be vigilant and proactive in holding companies accountable for their actions. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every child has a safe and just environment in which to grow and thrive.