American McDonald’s Owner Faces Child Labor Charges

These charges are becoming more and more common in America, leading many to think such labor is the consequence of a bad economic state.

A local owner-operator of 13 McDonald’s locations paid a civil penalty of more than $57,000 after federal regulators say they violated child labor laws involving 101 minors.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division said Bridgeville-based Santonastasso Enterprises, owned by John and Kathleen Santonastasso, allowed 14-and-15-year-old employees to work outside permissible hours.

The violations included allowing the minors to work more than three hours per day and after 7 p.m. on school days when the law forbids work beyond that time; later than 9 p.m. on days between June 1 and Labor Day, when they may legally only work until 9 p.m.; more than eight hours on a non-school day; and more than 18 hours a week during a regular school week.

These are violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Permitting young workers to work excessive hours can jeopardize their safety, well-being and education,” said Wage and Hour District Director John DuMont in Pittsburgh in a prepared statement. “Employers who hire young workers must understand and comply with federal child labor laws or face costly consequences.”

Investigators also found a minor under the age of 16 was allowed to operate a deep fryer, which was not properly equipped, at a Pittsburgh location, according to a news release.

The investigation included four locations in Pittsburgh and two in Waynesburg, as well as locations in Bridgeville, Castle Shannon, Coraopolis, Greentree, Moon Township, Star Junction and McKees Rocks.

John and Kathleen Santonastasso provided the following statement to Channel 11:

“We take our role as a local employer very seriously and we regret any scheduling issues that may have occurred at our restaurants. Our biggest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and we have since instituted a series of new and enhanced processes and procedures to ensure employees are scheduled appropriately.”

2 thoughts on “American McDonald’s Owner Faces Child Labor Charges

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  1. Businesses should pay attention to the local labor laws. While these kids and their families could use the money, today’s kids are definitely not mature enough to decide how to balance the different aspects of their lives.

  2. As a 14 years old, I worked in a Cuban restaurant somedays a double shift , in the morning as a cook helper and in the afternoon as a busboy. This was during the summer school vacation. At age 17 the job was a full time in a textile factory in Hialeah.

    I was grateful for the opportunity. It was a heck of a lot better than a paper route or mowing lawns and as well taught me that I needed an education to avoid doing those jobs the rest of my life.

    I bet these employers will not be providing any working opportunities to minors anymore no matter how hard they want to work.
    People should stop complaining of the lack of work ethics the newer generations have unless we give them a chance to experience what a real job is

    The picture used was in poor taste. there is no equivalent between a child miner and a McDonald job.

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