• A number of McDonald’s (MCD) franchises were fined by the U.S. Department of Labor after an investigation revealed underage workers as young as 10 years old in the kitchen
  • The department found 10-year-olds working at two separate franchise locations in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Three separate franchise operators in Kentucky were fined a collective $212,544 in civil penalties after investigations by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division
  • The three different franchise operators run a total of 62 different McDonald’s locations.
  • McDonalds Corp. (NYSE:MCD) is down 0.45 percent, trading at $293.90 at 12:20 p.m. ET

A number of McDonald’s (MCD) franchises were fined by the U.S. Department of Labor after an investigation revealed underage workers as young as 10 years old in the kitchen.

The department found 10-year-olds working at two separate franchise locations in Louisville, Kentucky. Officials observed the underage workers in the kitchen alone late at night, a safety hazard.

Shares of parent company McDonald’s Corp. were down slightly following the news.

Three separate franchise operators in Kentucky were fined a collective $212,544 in civil penalties after investigations by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division.

The three different franchise operators run a total of 62 different McDonald’s locations across Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio.

Bauer Food, an operator of 10 McDonald’s locations, was found to have employed 24 minors under age 16, working more than the legally-permitted number of hours.

Archways Richwood, which operates 27 McDonald’s locations, allowed 242 minors between the ages of 14 and 15 to work beyond the allowable hours, as well as outside permitted hours.

Authorities found Bell Restaurant Group, which operates an additional 20 locations in Maryland, Indiana and Kentucky, violated labour laws, involving 39 workers between the ages of 14 and 15.

Federal law stipulates workers under 16 can work no more than three hours on a school day including Fridays, and no more than eight hours on a non-school day. All work must be done outside of school hours.

“Too often, employers fail to follow the child labor laws that protect young workers. Under no circumstances should there ever be a 10-year-old child working in a fast-food kitchen around hot grills, ovens and deep fryers,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils said in a statement Thursday.

“We are seeing an increase in federal child labor violations, including allowing minors to operate equipment or handle types of work that endangers them or employs them for more hours or later in the day than federal law allows,” said Garnett-Civils. “An employer who hires young workers must know the rules. An employer, parent or young worker with questions can contact us for help understanding their obligations and rights under the law.”

McDonalds Corp. (NYSE:MCD) is down 0.45 percent, trading at $293.90 at 12:20 p.m. ET.

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