The department said in a Tuesday release that its Wage and Hour Division found the two 10-year-olds working at a location in Louisville, Ky. The division found that three franchisees — Bauer Food LLC, Archways Richwood LLC and Bell Restaurant Group I LLC — employed 305 children to work more hours than legally permitted and perform tasks that federal law prohibits.
The children were found to be working in 62 locations operated by the three franchisees in Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio. The franchisees were fined more than $212,000 in total.
Among those were two 10-year-old children. The agency said the children sometimes worked as late as 2 a.m. and were not paid.
“Below the minimum age for employment, they prepared and distributed food orders, cleaned the store, worked at the drive-thru window and operated a register,” the Labor Department said Tuesday, adding that one child also was allowed to operate a deep fryer, which is a prohibited task for workers under 16.