SALT LAKE CITY – A federal investigation has found a Salt Lake City restaurant supply company allowed 22 employees – ages 14 and 15 – to work as many as 46 hours per workweek, and to begin work after midnight – both illegal practices under child labor laws.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Specialty Consulting Services LLC – operating as Standard Restaurant Supply – violated child labor work hours standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also failed to keep accurate time records including the date of birth for one minor-aged employee, in violation of the FLSA’s recordkeeping provision.
The division assessed $16,595 in penalties to resolve the child labor violations.
The investigation follows a March 2022 announcement by the division’s Southwest Region reminding Salt Lake City-area employers of the importance of complying with federal child labor laws, and its stepped up enforcement efforts.
“Minors as young as 14- and 15-years-old not only worked beyond permitted hours, but more than half of them were employed in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act by being allowed to work long shifts often exceeding eight hours,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Kevin Hunt in Salt Lake City. “Our investigators continue to see an increase in child labor violations in several industries. We will take vigorous action whenever we discover young workers’ safety and well-being are being jeopardized by employers who fail to follow the law.”
Federal labor law prohibits the employment of workers under the age of 14 in non-agricultural settings. 14- and 15-year-olds must work outside of the hours of school and cannot work:
More than 3 hours on a school day, including Friday.
More than 18 hours per week when school is in session.
More than 8 hours per day when school is not in session.
More than 40 hours per week when school is not in session.
Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on any day, except from June 1 through Labor Day, when nighttime work hours are extended to 9 p.m.
“We urge employers in the region to gain a full understanding of child labor regulations and ensure they are abiding by the law, or they should be prepared to face costly consequences,” Hunt added.
Founded in 1980, Salt Lake City-based Specialty Consulting Services LLC has nine locations in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
In 2022, the Wage and Hour Division found more than 3,800 minors employed in violation of child labor laws in the U.S., an increase of 37 percent over the previous year.
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, now available for Android devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.