Crumbl Cookies is facing the heat of the law for violating Child Labor norms in six states in the country. The Utah-based cookie chain has been fined around $57,854 for violating child labor laws in more than ten franchisees located in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
The move comes after federal investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor discovered that children as young as 14 years were working more hours than permitted by law in some of the chain's franchises. The investigators also found that the children were working in “hazardous or prohibited” positions for minors, including operating "potentially dangerous ovens and machinery."
According to the Labor Department, the violation affects around 46 workers, aged 14 to 15, working at Crumbl Cookies franchisees.
Crumbl Cookies issued a statement responding to the Labor Law violations:
"At Crumbl, we are committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming work environment for all of our franchisees and their employees. We take any violation of federal labor laws very seriously. We were deeply disappointed to learn that a small number of our franchised locations were found to be in violation of these laws."
Apologizing to the affected workers, Crumbl Cookies assured the public that they would ensure the highest standards of compliance and integrity:
"We apologize to any of our franchisees’ employees who may have been affected by this situation and want to assure the public that we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance at every Crumbl location,"
All you need to know about the violation of Labour laws by Crumbl Cookies
Fast food chains like Crumbl Cookies have long been relying on teenagers and college-going students to staff their locations. The jobs range from cooking to cleaning and taking orders, and many young staffers work at fast food franchisees across the country. To protect the rights of such young workers, the U.S. government has sanctioned the Fair Labor Standards Act, which states the types of jobs they can do and which hours for which they can work. The act also puts additional restrictions on workers under the age of 16.
Under Federal law, no worker below the age of 16 can work more than eight hours a day and 40 hours in a single workweek. Additionally, young employees cannot be allowed to work before 7 am or after 7 pm on any given day. There are exemptions for the working hours between June 1 and Labor Day (summer break), where the nighttime hours can be extended up to 9 pm. The law also prohibits workers under the age of 18 from taking up occupations that can be considered hazardous by law.
In a statement to the press, Betty Campbell, Regional Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Labor Department, shared some thoughts on the matter:
"Employers must ensure that part-time employment does not jeopardize the safety or education of young workers. It is the responsibility of every employer who hires minor workers to understand child labor laws and comply with them or potentially face costly consequences."
Founded in 2017, Crumbl Cookies started its business as a single cookie shop in the Utah region. The cookie shop quickly gained a lot of traction and popularity, leading to its expansion across the country. The chain currently has franchise-operated stores in over 600 locations across 47 states.
The company is popular for selling a rotational menu of cookie flavors that changes every six weeks. Some of the company's most prominent cookies include frozen hot chocolate, eggnog, and birthday cake.