The U.S. Labor Department’s New England Office says it took action earlier this year against Dunkin’ and McDonald’s franchise locations in Vermont and New Hampshire over violating child labor laws. The DOL found nine McDonald’s and 12 Dunkin’ franchise locations allowed some 14 and 15-year-old workers to work beyond the number of hours federal law permits. Additionally, some restaurants allowed them to run dangerous equipment they shouldn’t have. Franchise owners signed compliance agreements designed to reduce future child labor violations and paid thousands in fines. “As the labor market tightens, employers may look to younger workers to fill job vacancies. However, there are limits on what jobs young workers can perform and how often they can work,” the Labor Department’s Steven McKinney said in a statement. Coughlin Inc., the owner of the McDonald’s franchises, paid $109,125 in penalties for the violations. Vermont Donut Enterprises LLC and related LLCs paid $49,756 in penalties for the violations.
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