Protect Young Workers From Child Labor Abuses

Target: Martin J. Walsh, U.S. Secretary of Labor

Goal: Strengthen and enforce child labor standards across franchises.

A McDonald’s franchise in Pennsylvania made headlines when the owners were financially penalized for reportedly violating several child labor laws. These federal standards prohibit minors from working more than three hours or after seven in the evening on school days. Businesses also cannot allow their youngest workers to operate equipment deemed unsafe and dangerous. The Pittsburgh franchise owners allegedly broke all of these rules with over 100 minor employees, some as young as 14 years old.

During the same week, Wisconsin slaughterhouses were charged with working minors on overnight shifts and allowing them to take on hazardous and unsanitary assignments. And in another stain on the fast food industry, several prominent franchises in South Carolina were investigated for apparently violating child labor standards earlier this year. Each of these cases demonstrate how a lack of oversight in franchising operations, wherein major businesses license their names and services to local entities. is enabling these abuses.

Sign the petition below to urge the Department of Labor to crack down on these potentially predatory practices.


Dear Secretary Walsh,

Franchising is a big business in the United States and an undeniable boon to the economy. As the recent McDonald’s child labor case indicates, however, these opportunities also open the door to abuse. Children eager to make a good impression in their first jobs too often suffer the consequences of this exploitation.

Please do everything in your power to strengthen the Fair Labor Standards Act and ensure that business franchises who would misuse the power and influence given them do not slip through the cracks of accountability.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marion Pintaux

One Comment

  1. Child labor laws were put in place for good reasons. I had working papers at 12 to work in a hair salon. I feel that is still too young but to work in a meat factory at that age or younger is horrendous. It is abuse, period! It needs to be punished as abuse and in conflict with the law being children do not work under certain ages and circumstances.

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