11 Crumbl Cookies franchises penalized for child labor violations – Cache Valley Daily
Crumb’s Aggie Blue Mint cookie
Earlier this week the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division assessed $57,854 in penalties to 11 Crumbl Cookies locations to resolve child labor violations.
The fast-growing cookie and dessert company began in Logan in 2017 and has had franchises quickly spread throughout the country with more than 600 shops in 47 states. But 11 of those franchises in six states have been penalized for allowing young employees – many 14 and 15 years of age – to work more than the law permits or in hazardous or prohibited occupations.
“Employers must ensure that part-time employment does not jeopardize the safety or education of young workers,” Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell explained in Dallas in a release. “It is the responsibility of every employer who hires minor workers to understand child labor laws, and comply with them or potentially face costly consequences.”
The US Department of Labor found violations affecting 46 workers in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. It is the responsibility of the franchise operator to pay the fine, not Crumbl Cookie.
Four of the 11 franchises affected by the penalty are in Utah: in Bountiful, Centerville, Layton and Ogden. The operator in Bountiful, BE Bountiful LLC, had nine minors affected and hit with a penalty of $7,423. There were five minors affected at the Centerville location, three in Layton and one in Ogden. The franchise hit with the largest fine was in San Ramon, California (operated by Tri-Valley Treats LLC). Nine minors were affected and the franchise was hit with a $15,417 penalty.
“At Crumbl, we are committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming work environment for all of our franchisees and their employees,” the company stated in response. “We take any violation of federal labor laws very seriously. We were deeply disappointed to learn that a small number of our franchised locations were found to be in violation of these laws.”
According to the US Department of Labor, 14- and 15-year-old workers cannot work more than 8 hours per day or exceed 40 hours per workweek. In addition, employers must not allow these workers to work before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm on any day, except from June 1 through Labor Day, when nighttime work hours are extended to 9:00 pm All workers under the age of 18 are banned from occupations considered hazardous by federal law.
Violations ranged from employing some minor-aged employees to work longer and later than the time the law allows to assigning others to operate potentially dangerous ovens and machinery.
“We are actively working to understand what has occurred at these specific store locations and will take appropriate action to ensure that all of our franchisees are fully compliant with the law,” the Crumbl statement added. “We apologize to any of our franchisees’ employees who may have been affected by this situation and want to assure the public that we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance at every Crumbl location.”
While the cookie company started in Logan by some Utah State University students, its corporate headquarters are now located in Lindon, Utah.
In 2022, the Wage and Hour Division found more than 3,800 minors employed in violation of child labor laws, an increase of 37 percent over the previous year. Minors employed in violation of hazardous orders were up to 26 percent in the same period, with a total of 688 minors found to be working in hazardous occupations.
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