SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WGHP) — A federal investigation into child labor violations at a Bojangles in Spartanburg, S.C. has led to sweeping changes across six states’ worth of Bojangles locations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Investigators with the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL say that the Spartanburg Bojangles allowed 16 minors to work outside of permitted hours while school was in session, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

For those infractions, an $11,744 fine was enforced.

Following the investigation, the operator of the Spartanburg Bojangles initiated a review into the practices of their 93 locations across six states.

The following changes have taken place:

  • All managers have been re-trained on legal working times and permissible jobs for minors
  • Additional training has been added for all current and new employees on federal guidelines on child labor
  • The child labor poster will be displayed at all locations
  • Identifying when 14 and 15-year-old workers clock in and out to ensure compliance with child labor laws
  • Maintainenacne documents verifying the birth dates of all employed minors
  • Distribution of pamphlets outlining child labor laws to parents of underaged workers

“Once this Bojangles franchise operator learned of violations in Spartanburg, they took action to ensure the young workers they employ in six states gain valuable workplace experience without compromising education or safety,” explained Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta. “This is an example of how enforcement and compliance assistance can work hand-in-hand, and it serves as a roadmap for other employers to follow to avoid costly violations.” 

In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southeast region found child labor violations in more than 190 food service employers investigated, resulting in more than $1 million in penalties assessed to employers. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting near-record levels of workers quitting their jobs, and record low unemployment rates, the current job market is forcing employers to be highly competitive.