COLUMBIA, SC – The operator of five Charleston-area Marco’s Pizza locations paid $101,027 in civil penalties after federal investigators found the employer endangered minor-aged workers by allowing them to perform prohibited or hazardous duties and employed a 17-year-old worker illegally as a delivery driver.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Roshan Operations LLC allowed 14- and 15-year-old employees to work in prohibited baking activities. In addition, the employer allowed minors between the ages of 14 and 17 to operate a pizza dough mixer – a prohibited hazardous occupation under federal law – and employed an underage delivery driver. In addition, Roshan Operations scheduled 14- and-15-year-old employees to work after 7 p.m., more than 3 hours on a school day and more than 18 hours in a school week – all violations of the federal work hour standards.
To resolve the child labor violations found by the division’s investigators, Marco’s Pizza restaurants paid $101,027 in civil money penalties.
“Teens bring value to workplaces, but achieving balance with needs typical of their age group is essential,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “Child labor laws are intended to ensure young workers obtain valuable experience safely and without interfering with their education. With kids back in school and the holiday season upon us, restaurant employers should review child labor laws and contact the Wage and Hour Division if they have questions.”
In addition to the child labor violations, Roshan Operations violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements. Investigators determined the employer did not combine work hours when employees worked in multiple locations in the same workweek. By doing so, Roshan paid straight time for all hours to workers who worked more than 40 hours a week at all locations combined. The employer also failed to include certain bonuses into one worker’s overtime pay as required and, as a result, paid the employee a lower overtime rate than required by law.
The investigation led the division to recover $5,425 in back wages for 26 workers.
Based in Summerville, Roshan Operations LLC operates Marco’s Pizza restaurants in Summerville, and one each in Ladson and Charleston.
For more information about child labor standards, the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division’s YouthRules! information, which promotes positive and safe work experiences for teens and provides guidelines about protections for young workers to youth, parents, employers and educators. If you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division, search our Workers Owed Wages database for information on submitting a claim.