MEMPHIS, TN – The operator of a Memphis Schlotzsky’s restaurant endangered minor-aged workers, the U.S. Department of Labor found after an investigation into a 16-year-old worker’s thumb injury.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Schlotzsky’s Deli & Byung OG NA – operating as Schlotzky’s Deli of Memphis – allowed six 16- and 17-year-old workers to clean and operate a deli meat slicer on a daily basis, a prohibited activity under the hazardous orders of federal child labor law.

The employer also allowed two 15-year-olds to work past 7 p.m. when school was in session and did not maintain proof of age records for workers under 19 years. The division assessed $17,818 in civil penalties to resolve the child labor violations.

In addition, the division recovered $422 in back wages for a worker who did not receive proper overtime pay. Schlotzsky’s Deli of Memphis failed to pay the additional half-time rate required for any hours over 40 in a workweek. The employer also failed to keep accurate time records reflecting each employee’s total hours worked each day and week.

“Child labor laws are intended to ensure young workers obtain valuable work experience safely without interfering with their safety and education,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta. “As summer is upon us, and restaurant employers hire an increasing number of young workers, they should review child labor laws and contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions.”

Wage and Hour Division investigators recovered more than $34.7 million for more than 29,000 workers in the food service industry in fiscal year 2021. In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southeast region found child labor violations in more than 190 food service employers investigated, resulting in more than $1 million in penalties assessed to employers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Schlotzsky’s is a restaurant franchise started in 1971 and now has more than 320 restaurants in 24 states.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including  information about protections for young workers on the department’s YouthRules! website. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Use a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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