Popeyes Restaurant Shut Down After Teen Employees Claim They Skipped Class And Worked Late
Teenage employees of a California-based Popeyes forced the restaurant to shut down after accusing management of breaking state child labor laws.
Protests emerged last week after workers went on strike due to complaints that employees under 18, even as young as 13, were asked to work long hours past 10 p.m., the Los Angeles Times reports. Two employees, Johmara Romero, 17, and Karla Palma Mendoza, who recently turned 18, filed a complaint with the California labor commissioner and California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, claiming violations at the Popeyes on International Boulevard in Oakland.
Romero and Mendoza are high school students and claim their manager would have them work for over six hours on school nights, sometimes without breaks. The 13-year-old listed in the complaint has allegedly worked more than 40 hours a week, as late as midnight on school nights. According to state law, children who are that age are not allowed to work on school days. According to a statement by the employees, their manager never asked for work permits, and one accused management of calling her in for a noonday shift, causing her to miss the rest of her school day.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the fast-food location. Kron 4 reports a spokesperson from Popeyes released a statement saying the location has been shut down immediately. “We will not tolerate any violation of employment laws and if any of these allegations prove true, we will take action against this franchisee.”
In addition to accusations of breaking child labor laws, this location has several work environment complaints. Because of the long hours, some employees say it has hindered their academic performance. They allege they have also been subjected to sexual remarks and safety issues. Back in February, a video of a physical fight between a staff member and a customer went viral.