HERSHEY, Pa. — A federal investigation found that a Dunkin’ franchisee violated child labor laws when it allowed 14- and-15-year-olds to work outside permissible hours at three locations in Dauphin and Lebanon counties.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that franchisee Akshar Ashish LLC, operating as Dunkin' and headquartered in Hershey, permitted 14-and-15-year-old employees to:
- Work more than three hours a day on a school day.
- Work past 7 p.m. on a school night.
- Work more than 18 hours a week during a regular school week.
- Work more than eight hours on a non-school day.
- Work past 9 p.m. during summer break.
These actions violated the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The violations involved 39 minors employed at Dunkin’ Hershey, located at 605 Park Ave in Hershey; Dunkin’ Hummelstown, at 233 Hershey Road in Hummelstown and Dunkin’ Palmyra, located at 101 N. Larkspur Drive in Palmyra.
Following the investigation, Akshar Ashish LLC agreed to enter into an enhanced compliance agreement with the division to ensure future compliance with the FLSA. As part of the agreement, the employer paid a civil money penalty in the amount of $24,332 due to the willful nature of the violations. Additionally, it agreed to conduct child labor training with supervisors and managers; provide relevant child labor publications to minors, parents and guardians of minors under the age of 16, supervisors and managers; and establish an internal phone number for employees to report anonymous child labor violations.
The employer also agreed to require minors to wear different colored name tags so managers can easily identify minors under 16 years of age, and place signage and stop stickers on hazardous equipment.
“Employers who choose to hire young workers have a legal responsibility to know and abide by the federal laws that govern their employment. These obligations include ensuring minors only work during permitted hours, so employment does not interfere with their education, health and well-being,” said Wage and Hour District Director Alfonso Gristina in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.