BALTIMORE – U.S. Department of Labor investigations at four northern Virginia Jersey Mike’s franchise locations have found the operator allowed more than a dozen employees under the age of 16 to perform dangerous tasks and work longer than permitted in violation of federal child labor regulations.The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that JM Burke LLC — the Charleston, South Carolina-based operator —  violated the Fair Labor Standards Act at locations in Ashburn, South Riding, Springfield and Sterling by allowing 14 minor-aged children to operate power-driven meat slicers, a hazardous occupation under federal law. The division also found JM Burke employed minors to either work more than 8 hours on a non-school day, more than 18 hours during a school week, more than 3 hours on a school day after 7 p.m. between the day after Labor Day and May 31, or after 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day, all child labor violations. JM Burke paid $108,161 in civil money penalties to resolve its child labor infractions.Investigators also identified overtime violations at the Ashburn location, where the employer failed to include bonuses in three employees’ regular rates of pay when calculating overtime wages owed. The employer also failed to maintain accurate records of workers’ regular pay rates. JM Burke paid $856 in overtime back wages to these affected workers.“Employers who hire minors are legally and ethically obligated to comply with child labor standards that protect young people from harm,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicholas Fiorello in Baltimore. “In addition to keeping them safe, employers must schedule young workers for times that allow for their education to remain the priority.”JM Burke LLC has agreed to future enhanced compliance that includes staff training, increased corporate site visits, the creation of a website for reporting violations and investments in technology to monitor internal store cameras to help ensure children are working in hazardous occupations.“Our commitment to protecting young workers does not end after investigators leave an employer’s premises,” added Fiorello. The division’s Baltimore District Office is offering a free webinar on April 3, 2024, for employers, parents, educators and workers to learn more about the FLSA’s child labor protections. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. The office will provide participants with useful links to child labor compliance assistance materials. Attendance is free, but registration is required.The Department of Labor’s YouthRules! initiative promotes positive and safe work experiences for teens by providing information about protections for young workers to youth, parents, employers and educators. Through this initiative, the department and its partners promote developmental work experiences that help prepare young workers to enter the workforce. The Wage and Hour Division has also published Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers to help employers comply with the law. Learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions. For more information about young workers’ rights and other employee rights enforced by the division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. The division protects workers regardless of where they are from and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages. Download the agency’s Timesheet App for Android and iOS devices, free and available in English and Spanish, to ensure hours and pay are accurate. 

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