McDonald's Is Being Investigated Over Claims Of Employing Literal Children

In February 2022, a San Diego McDonald's underwent an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) for potential child labor law violations. At the end of the investigation, this particular McDonald's owed the DoL $25,000 in fines for allowing minors to perform dangerous tasks.

Unfortunately, several Kentucky McDonald's recently faced similar charges. One franchise owner, Bauer Foods LLC, allegedly employed two 10-year-old children at a Louisville McDonald's. According to CBS, the 10-year-olds were the children of a night manager, but "sometimes worked as late as 2 a.m." and "were not paid." One was even allowed to use equipment in the kitchen, although child labor laws mandate that employees under the age of 16 cannot use fryers, grills, ovens, etc. As a result, Bauer Foods LLC was fined $39,711 for the violations.

However, Bauer Foods LLC wasn't the only McDonald's franchise in the Kentucky area to face some consequences for violating child labor laws — two other franchises also took a big hit for similar charges.

McDonald's hired more than 300 minors to perform dangerous tasks

Although Archways Richwood and Bell Restaurant Group were also charged with tens of thousands of dollars in child labor fines, their penalties had more to do with allowing minors to perform dangerous tasks and work longer-than-legal hours.

According to the Department of Labor's investigation, Archways Richwood allowed 242 minors to work more than 18 hours a week during school, and more than 40 hours during breaks. They were also scheduled to work past legal curfews, resulting in the franchise paying $143,566 in fines. Bell Restaurant Group, on a similar note, was charged $29,267 for letting 39 minors work more hours than legally permitted, use potentially dangerous equipment, and even work during the school day.

Needless to say, this isn't a great look for the fast food chain as a whole, and we can probably add this to the list of the biggest scandals to ever plague McDonald's. We know there's a labor shortage right now, but hiring kids is just creating new problems.