A Utah-based franchise known as Crumbl Cookies was found to be violating child labor laws in its outlets spread across 6 states.
According to the US Department of Labor, employees as young as 14 and 15 years old have been working at different stores of Crumbl Cookies- a Utah-based franchise founded in 2017, for extended hours and in hazardous conditions.
11 operators have been accused of assigning longer working shifts to young employees, along with making them work with dangerous machines. Legally, workers under 16 are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a week, and workers under 18 are not allowed to work in hazardous conditions. Irrespective of school timings, workers under 16 are also not allowed to work before 7 am and after 7 pm.
But clearly, authorities at Crumbl Cookie paid no heed to this law, as their labor law violations affected around 46 workers across California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
The operators have been charged with a fine of $57,854, with the outlet in California receiving the highest fine of around $15,417 for violating the rights of nine workers. The saddening part is that this is not the only business violating child labor laws, rather as compared to last year there is a 37% increase in violations of labor law in 2022.
Response of Crumbl Cookies to labor law violations
The franchise issues a statement to FOX TV Stations saying that they are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy working environment to employees. They said, “We take any violation of federal labor laws very seriously. We were deeply disappointed to learn that a small number of our franchised locations were found to be in violation of these laws.”
It seems unlikely that the company was unaware of such violations happening in so many outlets. It is great that they are receiving hefty fines now because child labor violations are a serious crime that should not have been neglected.