Home>775Times>Federal Investigation Reveals Child Labor Violations in Northern Nevada Sonics

Federal Investigation Reveals Child Labor Violations in Northern Nevada Sonics

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, May 30, 2023 7:16 pm

NEVADA – A recent federal investigation conducted by the Department of Labor has uncovered over 170 child labor violations committed by six Sonics locations in northern Nevada. The investigation revealed that two locations in Reno, one in Sparks, as well as individual locations in Carson City, Fallon, and Minden were found to be in violation of federal child labor regulations.

According to investigators, these locations unlawfully allowed 14- and 15-year-old employees to work beyond the permitted hours and engaged them in tasks classified as hazardous under child labor regulations, such as operating manual deep fryers.

SDI of Neil LLC, the company that owns these franchises, along with its owners, has agreed to pay $71,182 in civil penalties. Additionally, the Department of Labor has successfully recovered $274 in overtime wages and liquidated damages for two minor workers who were denied proper overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

Furthermore, the investigation uncovered that one of the locations had hired a 13-year-old, which is below the legal age for employment in restaurants.

Wage and Hour Division District Director Gene Ramos in Las Vegas emphasized the importance of employers ensuring the safety and well-being of young workers while complying with federal regulations. He stated, “While learning new skills in the workforce is valuable as teens grow up, federal law dictates how employers must protect children by making sure their first jobs are safe and that they do not interfere with their education or well-being. The Fair Labor Standards Act allows for developmental experiences but restricts the employment of young workers in certain jobs and provides for penalties when employers do not follow the law.”

The Department of Labor’s investigation also found that the 14- and 15-year-old employees were made to work before 7:00 a.m. and beyond 7:00 p.m. on days between Labor Day and later than 9:00 p.m. They were also subjected to working more than three hours per day on school days, more than 18 hours per week during a school week, more than eight hours on non-school days, and more than 40 hours during non-school weeks.

The Department of Labor encourages employers, young workers, parents, and other stakeholders to make use of their online resources or contact the division for additional guidance on complying with child labor regulations and ensuring a safe work environment.

Credits: Fox Reno

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