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March 10, 2003
Theater Chain Fined for Child Labor Violations
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has fined a Murray, Utah-based theater chain $22,230 in civil penalties for employing minors in violation of federal child labor hours standards.

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The penalties were issued to Consolidated Theaters, Inc. The department says it found a total of 24 youths ages 14 and 15 were employed in violation of the hours and time-of-day standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The violations included employment of minors in the theaters later than 7:00 p.m. during the school year and later than 9:00 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day, according to the department.

The department says young people worked more than three hours on school days and more than 18 hours during school weeks, with work schedules exceeding the 7:00 p.m. standard by more than three hours on a routine basis. Investigators found one youth working as late as 12:30 a.m.

"Work experience is valuable for young workers, but youth employment standards are in place to keep teens from working during hours that can subject them to dangers at night, and from working long hours that can harm their education," says Dean A. Campbell, Wage and Hour district director in Salt Lake City.
Campbell notes the penalty assessments were increased, because this employer had identical violations in a 1996 investigation.

The Labor Department says the FLSA specifies that 14 and 15 year-olds may work outside school hours, but not before 7:00 a.m. and not later than 7:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. from June 1 until Labor Day). They may not work more than 3 hours on a school day, and not more than 18 hours in a school week. These youths may work up to 8 hours on a non-school day or 40 hours in a non-school week when school is out of session.



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