CHARLESTON, SC – A Charleston Walgreens failed to comply with federal labor laws setting minimum age standards and limiting the number of hours and times a minor-aged employee can work. This led the U.S. Department of Labor to assess a civil money penalty to the Walgreens location, part of the nation’s second largest pharmacy store chain.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined the Walgreens store allowed a 12-year-old employee to work before reaching age 14, the minimum age for employment in non-agricultural occupations covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The investigation also found the store permitted the minor employee to work more than 8 hours on a non-school day, more than 18 hours during a school week and after 7 p.m. on multiple days, each of which violates work hour standards for employees under age 16 under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In addition, Walgreens could not provide required documents to prove they paid the minor-aged worker over a two-month period. The division found Walgreens failed to maintain records of pay and lacked records of hours worked and the date of birth for the worker, all FLSA recordkeeping violations

The department assessed Walgreens with a $7,034 civil money penalty for the child labor and recordkeeping violations, and recovered $368 in back wages for the youth.

“With school in session, retail employers must understand fully the child labor regulations addressing minimum age requirements, limitations regarding allowable hours of work and prohibited occupations,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “Federal child labor restrictions ensure young workers enjoy a safe work experience that does not have a negative effect on their education. The U.S. Department of Labor encourages employers and employees to contact us if they have questions about child labor laws.”

The department’s YouthRules! website provides information to educate youth, parents, employers and educators about protections for young workers. 

For more information about 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, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. 

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