A restaurant in Hawaii has come under fire by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division for allowing eight teen workers, some as young as 15 years old, to cook and bake.
Cooking and baking are considered hazardous occupations for minors under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to a news release.
Tahiti Nui Enterprises Inc. – operating as Tahiti Nui – also permitted the teen workers to work beyond the hours federal law permits and denied overtime wages to 18 employees.
$26K fine for reckless disregard
The investigation led to a $26,355 fine for the child labor violations and reckless disregard of the FLSA.
“A job should never jeopardize the safety, well-being or educational opportunities of young workers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2021 that 16- to 19-year-old workers made up almost 12% of the U.S. workforce. DOL states that as “businesses fill job openings with minors new to the workforce, employers must understand and comply with child labor rules.”
The DOL published “Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers” to assist employers and inform young workers and their parents.