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Child Labor Safety Regulations Violated at McDonald’s Franchise

Big or small, establishments are under strict regulations designed to keep workers safe and consumers’ best interests at the forefront. However, the Department of Labor of the United States sometimes finds that corporations violate these regulations. This discovery typically comes after the Department has conducted its inspection and investigations on the business corporation.

Recently, a McDonald’s franchise operator has fallen into the view of the Department as after investigations, it found the McDonald’s franchise operator guilty of violating important regulations regarding its operation. This article breaks down the details of the investigation, how it went, and the charges against McDonald’s.

The Discovery Post-Investigation

The United States Department of Labor investigated McDonald’s operations and discovered that they violated the Fair Labor Standard Act. They violated child labor hours and safety regulations at two of the establishment’s seven locations.

According to the investigation results, McDonald’s illegally overworked 154 minors between ages 14 and 15. Furthermore, they worked at times that child labor laws do not permit and for more hours than allowed per week. As if that were not enough, the employer assigned nine below-age 16 workers to operate deep fryers.

Making Minors Work Above What the Law Requires

US Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division found the renowned establishment guilty of the following:

  • Making minors work before seven in the morning, after seven in the evening on school days, and for over three hours daily.
  • Making minors work later than nine in the evening on days between June 1 and Labor Day. Meanwhile, the Fair Labor Standard Act only permits them to work until nine on such days.
  • Making minors work for more than eight hours on a non-school day and above eighteen hours a regular school week.

Making Minors Operate Deep Fryers

The Act prohibits workers under 16 using manual deep fryers lacking automatic fry baskets. The fry baskets automatically put food into and remove it from cooking oil and grease.

During the investigation, the Department also learned that nine minors under 16 were made to operate deep fryers. This violation of federal regulations for occupational standards regarding fourteen and fifteen-year-olds took place at two of the employer’s locations.

The Alarming Rate of Violations of Federal Child Labor Laws

According to the division’s district director, John DuMont, there is a concerning increase in how many young workers are employed illegally. Whoever will hire young workers to work for them must be aware of the federal child labor laws. The laws contain provisions of when minors can and cannot work, what tasks they can safely handle, and what jobs they can do.

In 2022, the Wage and Hour Division published the “Seven Child Best Practices for Employers” to reduce the rate of child violations. It expects employers to read up to avoid putting the lives of minors at risk. The division’s job is to protect young workers and other employees’ rights, regardless of where they come from.


The Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division holds the Fair Labor Act franchises. Those found in violation, as two of McDonald’s branches, were, will face serious consequences. The act protects workers’ rights, minors and adults, and international workers. According to Attorney Jason W. Power of Franchise Law. “If this act is fully implemented, better child labor regulations will exist.” The division’s district director maintains that there is no excuse for jeopardizing young workers’ safety. He encourages young workers, parents, and other stakeholders to reach out for helpful resources such as compliance assistance.

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