UNION COUNTY, NJ — Three McDonald’s restaurants in Union County and eight others in the state were found to be in violation of child labor laws after a federal Department of Labor investigation, officials announced May 18.
S&P Enterprises, the McDonald’s franchisee, paid $8,829 in penalties to “resolve” the violations, federal officials said. The three Union County locations were in Rahway, Roselle and Elizabeth, and the others were located in Bergen, Morris and Passaic counties.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation found that S&P Enterprises employed 16 minors, ages 14 and 15, who worked after 7 p.m. during the school year and more than three hours on a school day. The minors also worked more than eight hours on a non-school day and more than 18 hours during a school week, according to a U.S Department of Labor release.
“Child labor laws protect the educational opportunities of minors, and ensure that their employment does not come at the expense of their health or well-being,” WHD Northern New Jersey District Director John Warner said in a statement.“This case demonstrates how child labor violations can occur when front-line supervisors do not comply with the law’s requirements, and fail to monitor minor employees’ hours.”
S&P Enterprises, based in Central Valley, N.Y., could not be reached for comment. An employee who answered the phone at the company’s Rahway location said they did not have contact information for the franchisee.
Department of Labor spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins said the investigation first spanned from late 2015 to 2017, in the company’s Florham Park restaurant. The other 10 locations owned by S&P Enterprises were investigated between 2016 and 2018, she added.
The Fair Labor Standards Act allows minors between the ages of 14 and 15 to work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., or until 9 p.m., from June 1 to Labor Day. When school is not in session, minors of that age may work up to eight hours per day, or up to 40 hours for the week.
Employees can file wage complaints confidentially at www.dol.gov/whd.
According to Hawkins, the following McDonald’s locations were found to be in violation:
• 176 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park;
• 1465 Route 23 South, Butler;
• 819-835 North Ave., Elizabeth;
• 150 Route 17 South, Mahwah;
• 5734 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge;
• 54 Route 46 West, Pine Brook;
• 2024 Route 1, Rahway;
• 251 St. George Ave., Roselle;
• 249 Route 10 East, Succasunna;
• 741 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne; and
• 327 Franklin Ave., Wyckoff.