WICHITA, Kan. — A Sonic franchise operator in the Wichita, Kansas area has been fined nearly $42,000 for violating child labor laws.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, their Wage and Hour Division found BBR Investments LLC, based in Newton, Kansas and owner of 17 Sonic drive-in locations in Kansas, violated child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

There were found to be a total of 50 minors, 14 and 15 years old, employed in excess of the number of hours allowed by child labor laws and during nighttime hours not permitted by law at three of their locations. Six minors at 621 E. 4th St in Hutchinson, 10 at 910 E. Kansas Ave in McPherson, and 34 at 1215 N. Main St in Newton.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, BBR Investments LLC “permitted minors at the three of its restaurants to consistently work more than three hours on a school day, more than 18 hours in a school week, and more than eight hours on a non-school day. The employer also allowed them to work later than 7 p.m. during the school year, and later than 9 p.m. from June 1st through Labor Day.”

The division assessed $41,998 in civil money penalties for violations at the drive-in locations in Newton, Hutchinson, and McPherson.

“Federal child labor laws allow for youth employment but specify when and how long these young people can work and what hazardous occupations must be avoided, so their safety and well-being are never compromised,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Reed Trone in Kansas City, Mo. “BBR Investments could have avoided costly penalties by making sure they followed the law.”

For more information on the child labor provisions violated at these locations, click here.

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