Louisville Restaurant Operator Fined Over Child Labor Violations

The franchisee employed 55 children at nine locations across Kentucky.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Less than six months after an investigation found three Kentucky fast-food franchisees employing more than 300 children outside of federally allowed hours, the U.S. Department of Labor has discovered another Louisville restaurant enterprise violating federal child labor laws, this time with 55 children at nine locations across the state.

Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Cock-A-Doodle-Doo LLC – operating as Roosters Wings – employed 14- and 15-year-olds to work beyond what is legally allowed at nine of its locations across Kentucky. The agency found these 55 employees working past 7 p.m. from the day after Labor Day through May 31, past 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, more than 8 hours on a non-school day and more than 18 hours during a school week.

The agency assessed $43,505 in penalties for Cock-A-Doodle-Doo to address the child labor violations.

“Child labor laws ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. Too often, employers fail to follow the laws that protect young workers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville. “Anyone – employers, parents and young workers – can take advantage of all the child labor resources the Wage and Hour Division offers online to assist in understanding obligations and rights under the law.”

In addition to the child labor violations, the employer failed to combine the hours when employees worked across multiple locations within the same workweek. By doing so, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo paid straight-time rates to the employees for all hours worked, instead of the time-and-a-half rate due for hours worked over 40, as the law requires. The agency recovered $182,125 in back wages and liquidated damages for seven workers to account for these violations.

“One of the more common violations we uncover in restaurant investigations is the employer failing to pay overtime at the correct rate. Employees deserve to be paid no less than they legally earn,” said Garnett-Civils. “Failing to do so deprives the workers of their dignity and makes it harder for them to provide for themselves and their loved ones.”

This investigation comes less than six months after the Wage and Hour Division found three Kentucky-based McDonald’s franchisees employing more than 300 children outside of federally allowed work hours.

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