Dairy Queen locations in Indiana violated child labor laws, Department of Labor says


Dairy Queen locations in Indiana and Michigan operated by a Fort Wayne-based company violated child labor laws, federal officials say.

The U.S. Department of Labor found H&H Coldwater LLC, which operates 11 franchise locations, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act at stores in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Bluffton, Decatur and Sturgis, Michigan.

The department said 102 minors ages 14 and 15 worked more hours than allowed or worked outside hours in which they were permitted, violating Child Labor Regulations No. 3 on working times and standards.

Federal law prohibits 14- and 15-year-old employees from working later than 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day and past 7 p.m. during the remainder of the year. Additionally, the employees can’t work more than 3 hours on a school day, 8 hours on a non-school day or more than 18 hours per week.

“Franchisees like H & H Coldwater provide teen workers an opportunity to learn customer services and other skills that prepare them for successful careers but as employers, they have an obligation to ensure child labor laws are followed,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Patricia Lewis in Indianapolis. “Child labor laws protect teens’ health and ensure their first job experiences are positive and manageable with schooling and other commitments.”

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigated the matter. H&H Coldwater LLC agreed to pay $42,572 in civil penalties by Nov. 14 following the investigation.

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