HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The owner of a North Carolina Chick-Fil-A has been fined by the Department of Labor for child labor and minimum wage standards violations, Fox News reports.
The restaurant first came under fire in July 2022, when a Facebook post that offered to pay volunteer workers in meal vouchers went viral.
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” read the post that has since been deleted. “Earn 5 free entrees per shift (1 hr) worked. Message us for details.”
A manager at the restaurant reportedly told a reporter for Vice that the idea behind the post was to “establish a relationship with the community.”
“We get people all the time that want to be a part of what we’re doing. This is designed to be an opportunity for that,” the manager said, according to Vice.
A representative for Chick-fil-A, confirmed to Business Insider that the Hendersonville location was no longer offering the volunteer program, which was not endorsed by the company.
The North Carolina Department of Labor, meanwhile, had received “multiple inquiries” about this program, public information officer Erin Wilson of the NCDOL confirmed to Nexstar.
On Monday, the DOL released a report revealing that the restaurant was fined $6,450 for allowing three teen workers to operate, load or unload a trash compactor.
Minors are not allowed to perform such hazardous tasks under federal child labor laws.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued additional fines after the restaurant was found to have paid certain employees who were directing traffic in the drive-thru area and parking lot in meal vouchers instead of actual wages.
In total, $235 in back wages were paid to a total of seven employees.
“Child labor laws ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. In addition, employers are responsible to pay workers for all of the hours worked and the payment must be made in cash or legal tender.”Richard Blaylock, the Wage and Hour Division District director