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Popular chain allowed 14- and 15-year-olds to work more hours than allowed under the law

MANASQUAN, NJ – A federal investigation has found that a popular chain of sandwich shops allowed 14- and 15-year-old workers to work beyond and outside hours permitted by child labor laws.

U.S. Department of Labor investigations at 10 Jersey Mike’s Subs locations by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc. of Manasquan allowed 14-and 15-year-olds to work past 7 p.m. on school days, past 9 p.m. in the summer and more than three hours on school days. The employer also failed to maintain proof-of-age documents for minors, all violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions.

In total, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc. paid $24,660 in civil money penalties. The division conducted investigations in Freehold, Long Branch, Neptune and Red Bank, New Jersey; Radnor and Horsham, Pennsylvania; Jacksonville and Salisbury, North Carolina; and Bend, Oregon.

“Child labor laws exist to protect employed minors and ensure their work experience does not compromise their health, well-being, or education,” said Wage and Hour District Director Charlene Rachor in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. “As the number of working minors increases during the summer months, it’s a good time for employers to review their child labor policies to ensure compliance.”

Based in Manasquan, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc. has approximately 2,000 franchise locations opened and under development.

From fiscal year 2017-2021, the department identified child labor violations in more than 4,000 cases, finding more than 13,000 minor-aged workers employed in violation.

Review a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws and the restaurant industry. The division offers information for employers and for young workers, parents and educators about child labor to promote positive and safe work experiences for teens.

For more information about young workers’ rights and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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