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Cranberry Township business cited for violating child labor laws

Associated Press

A Cranberry Township business was accused of violating federal child labor regulations by employing children to work outside permissible hours at five McDonald’s locations, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Officials said Endor Inc., which is based in Cranberry Township, allowed 34 children ages 14 and 15 to work outside permissible hours at Punxsutawney, St. Marys, Brookville and Clarion locations.

“Fast food restaurants offer young workers an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, but federal law makes sure their experiences do not come at the expense of their education or well-being,” said John DuMont, wage and hour division district director. “The Fair Labor Standards Act allows for developmental experiences but restricts the work hours of 14- and 15-year-olds and provides for penalties when employers do not follow the law.”

The owners of Endor Inc. paid $26,894 in civil money penalties for the infraction, according to the department.

Meghan Sweeney, a McDonald’s franchisee named in the Department of Labor’s communications about the violations, said precautionary measures were taken to be compliant with regulations.

“The well-being of our people is paramount to our organization, and as local business owners, we are committed to providing a safe working environment for all of our employees,” she said. “After becoming aware of these violations, we have implemented a number of strategies to help avoid such issues in the future, including regular time audits, a revised scheduling process and mandatory child labor law training for managers.”

The investigation found four employees were affected at the restaurant at 249 Allegheny Road in Brookville, nine employees at 136 Perkins Road, Clarion, two employees at 707 Main St., Clarion, nine employees at 102 N. Findley St., Punxsutawney, and 10 employees at 825 South St., St. Marys.

The nonpermissible hours worked cited by the department are the hours before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. between Labor Day and June 1, during school hours, later than 9 p.m. on days between June 1 and Labor Day, more than three hours on a school day, and more than 18 hours during a regular school week or more than eight hours on a nonschool day.

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