(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A McDonald’s franchise owner with restaurants in Erie and Warren has been fined for allegedly violating child labor laws.
According to the United States Department of Labor, Erie-based DuCharme Organization allowed minors to work before 7 a.m., after 7 p.m. and for more than 3 hours per day on school days. Minors also worked later than 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day (they can only work until 9 p.m. according to the law), and they worked more than 8 hours on non-school days.
Further, workers younger than 16 were allowed to operate deep fryers, which is against federal regulations.
According to the Department of Labor, DuCharme has seven franchise locations: In Erie, at the 1115 Sassafras Street location, 13 workers were affected; at 2065 Interchange Road, 24 workers; At 903 Peninsula Dr., 23 workers; at 2529 Broad St., 29 workers; at 4316 Buffalo Road, 29 workers; at 7200 Peach St., 9 workers; and in Warren at the 75 Market St. location, 27 workers.
DuCharme reportedly paid $92,107 in civil penalties for the violations.
Tom DuCharme, the franchise owner and operator, said: “As a small business owner, I take my role in the community seriously, and I’m deeply committed to the safety and well-being of all my employees. I have since adopted several enhanced processes to address scheduling issues and to ensure my organization is meeting the high standards to which we hold ourselves.”