Thursday, September 14, 2000

Feds: Restaurants broke child labor laws

The Associated Press

        Two companies that operate six fast-food restaurants are facing charges and fines totaling $34,500 for violating child labor laws, federal regulators said Wednesday.

        U.S. Labor Department investigators alleged that Restaurant Associates of Cincinnati Inc. and Desili Enterprises Inc. employed 34 minors, aged 14 and 15, during prohibited hours. The teens worked later than 11 p.m. or more than nine hours a day, investigators said.

        The companies also illegally employed three minors who operated broilers, the investigators said. Cooking jobs are generally prohibited for minors under 16.

        The companies have 15 days to challenge the government's charges, Labor Department officials said. A Labor Department administrative law judge would hear the appeal.

        The alleged violations occurred at five Burger King franchises run by Restaurant Associates in West Chester, Mason and suburban Cincinnati and at one operated by Desili Enterprises in Lebanon, investigators said.

        The companies are both owned by businessmen Raymond Conn and Angelo DeSimone, Labor Department officials said. Mr. DeSimone, a vice president of both companies who is responsible for the restaurants' daily operations, was sent a letter notifying him of the alleged violations, Labor Department spokesman Brad Mitchell said.

        Mr. DeSimone did not return a telephone call for comment Wednesday.


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