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October 29, 2003
Donut Shops Settle Suit Alleging Holes in Compliance
Two Springfield, Mass.-area donut shop chains, both comprised of Dunkin Donuts franchises, have agreed to settle a Department of Labor lawsuit alleging that they employed minors in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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In a complaint and consent judgment filed simultaneously with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the Labor Department named as defendants: Lori Donuts, Inc.; Jessica Donuts, Inc.; Westside Donuts, Inc.; Springfield Donuts, Inc.; J.A. Donuts, Inc.; Belmont Donuts, Inc.; and Agawam Donuts, Inc.

The department's suit alleged that the donut shops employed young workers, then 14 and 15 years of age, to work more than 18 hours in weeks when school was in session, to work more than 8 hours in days when school was not in session, to work more than 3 hours in days when school was in session, to work before 7:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. The defendants were also charged with requiring minors to operate baking ovens.

The consent judgment, signed by Chief U.S. District Judge William Young, prohibits the defendants from future violations of the youth employment provisions of the FLSA. The judgment also notes that the defendants have agreed to pay $102,305.96 in penalties assessed by the department.

"We hope that employers will log on to the department's website, for important compliance information," says Tammy McCutchen, administrator of Wage and Hour Division. Our YouthRules! initiative strives to educate teens, parents, educators, employers and the public on federal and state rules that apply to the employment of young workers."

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