Employment laws related to wages and conditions of employment are complicated. Both employers and employees should take steps to understand employee rights and the obligations of employers. When there is a possible violation of an employment law or a discrepancy between an employer and employees, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor may step in and investigate to determine if any employment law has been violated. This is what happened in the case of the owner of 16 Denver-area McDonald's franchises.
The Department of Labor investigation found that the franchisee violated several employee rights under current employment law. It found that the franchisee illegally took money out of workers' paychecks to pay for uniforms and failed to pay employees the full amount they were due.
In addition, the franchisee was found to have violated child labor laws by allowing 16-year-old employees to drive cars and letting underage workers operate certain equipment. It also concluded that the franchisee required a 15-year-old to work later than employment law permitted. Finally, the investigation found that the franchisee did not maintain records that met the standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, the franchisee was ordered to pay more than $58,000 to 1,258 employees.
Abiding by laws related to wages, child labor, and other conditions in the workplace are important for maintaining a productive and lucrative work environment. Both employers and employees should seek to understand what current employment laws require of them.
Source: Denver Post, "McDonald's franchisee in Denver metro area pays $58,227 in back wages," Howard Pankratz, Dec. 4, 2012