American SWEATSHOP – Child Op BUSTED!

A chain of Domino’s Pizza franchises in Pennsylvania has just been heavily fined after an investigation by regulators turned up a number of child labor law violations.

NWPA Pizza Inc. was accused on Monday by Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry of hundreds of violation of the Child Labor Act over the last three years.

The department alleges that, on 375 occasions, NWA broke the law by failing to provide requisite breaks, allowing minors work hours outside of the mandated 7AM-7PM window, and ordering minors to work “excessive hours” as defined by the statute. As a result of these findings, the state has levied a large fine against the franchises’ holding company as a result of the violations. The enforcement action also requires managers at the stores in question to undergo training in child labor law.

Pennsylvania’s Labor and Industry department secretary Nancy Walker issued a statement on the matter in which she trumpeted her department’s commitment, which she characterized as “unwavering,” to defend worker’s rights in Pennsylvania and to continue to use its power to protect the safety of young workers from unlawful employment practices.

The restaurant and food service industries have long employed large numbers of child workers, and periodically attracts the attention of regulators.

The current enforcement action marks an escalation in the ongoing battle waged by regulators against fast food businesses, which employ many of the nation’s child workers. 130,000 child labor offenses have been recorded by US Department of Labor investigators since 2020 in the food industry alone. A Kentucky McDonald’s franchise was recently the target of such an investigation, which found dozens of violations. The franchise received a fine of over $300,000 as the result of the enforcement action.

Domino’s Pizza franchise owner NWPA Pizza, Inc. is now on the hook for a fine of $344,000 for its part in profiting off the unlawful labor conditions to which its manager subjected its minor workers.