Most people in the Bay Area can likely recall their first job. Most remember the sense of pride and excitement that came from entering the workforce and beginning to learn to make their own living. One field that has become a magnet for teen workers is the fast food industry, specifically McDonald’s, which is one of the largest chain restaurants in the world. A recent survey estimates that one in eight Americans has worked at a McDonald’s at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the industry is also prone to incidents of wage and hour violations.
While many agree that a part-time job can be a rewarding way for teens to learn the ropes in the workforce, there are strict laws in place to protect minors from being overworked and taken advantage of. During the teen years, employment is meant to be supplemental, as children must also have time to complete their education. The Fair Labor Standards Act outlines the hours teens can work, which vary depending on whether school is in session.
Recently, the owners of several McDonald’s restaurants have come under investigation for failing to properly pay minor employees and monitor their hours. According to reports, the supervisors in the individual stores allowed teens to work more hours than would be allowed by law. The investigation concluded that child labor laws had been violated at several franchise locations.
Bay Area employees may find themselves unsure of how to identify possible wage and hour violations. Often, workers, especially teens, may be unaware of their rights, and instead trust their employer to see to it that they are treated properly on the job. When wage and hour laws are broken, it can be helpful for victims or their parents to seek the assistance of an attorney that specializes in employment law. An attorney may be able to help wronged employees seek any damages to which they might be entitled.