Marcus fined $94K for alleged child labor violationsThe Business JournalDate: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 4:44pm CST - Last Modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 5:02pm CSTThe U.S. Department of Labor has fined Marcus Corp. $94,000 for allegedly violating child labor laws at its theaters, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the department.
The department said Milwaukee-based Marcus violated the law by employing minors to load and operate trash compactors, operate motor vehicles and operate a dough mixer. The company also employed workers under the age of 16 to perform baking and allowed them to work beyond hours permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the release said.
Fines issued against Marcus; Regal Cinemas Inc. Knoxville, Tenn.; and Wehrenberg Inc., St. Louis, total more than $277,000. The companies also agreed to implement internal compliance and training programs and promote industry-wide compliance, the release said. For example, Regal Cinemas is showing a child labor public service announcement on workplace safety at all 458 of its digital cinemas.
Marcus owns or manages 684 screens at 55 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio.
Marcus issued the following statement in response to the fine:
Marcus Theatres has always been dedicated to providing a safe work environment for all our associates. Marcus Theatres fully cooperated and worked very closely with the Department of Labor throughout its investigation and proactively took actions to address this situation before any violations were assessed. We have taken steps to prohibit all minors from loading trash into compactors, revised signs to better indicate safety policies and age requirements, reviewed Department of Labor regulations with our managers and associates, and enhanced our internal audit procedures to address issues raised by the Department of Labor. While there were no accidents or injuries associated with any of the violations assessed at our locations, Marcus Theatres is happy that these issues were brought to our attention so we could further strengthen the policies and procedures that we already have in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable working environment for all of our associates.
Anyone growing up in a family who "works" or on a farm, or *gasp* in a place where kids still play outside realize that this is absolute craziness. Give me a break. Yes, child safety laws exist for many reasons. But suing a company because a 14-year-old operated a dough mixer is ridiculous. And you wonder why kids are "lazy" today --- because we make them that way.
My brother was making macaroni and cheese by the age of 8 - now-a-days he'd he placed in child protective services. Thank goodness that was 20-some years ago as today he's an amazing cook!
Who receives the money from this suit? If it's the kids who were working, it teaches them nothing about a work ethic, responsibility or maybe saying (sometimes litigation doesn't need to happen). If someone else receives this money -- shame on you!