Crumbl Cookies Violated Child Labor Laws in These Six States

The national chain is facing major fines for a range of violations.

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Crumbl Cookies is known for its business model almost as much as its product: Its weekly rotations of six new cookie flavors are announced with the fanfare of hypebeast sneaker drops. But right now the bakery chain is under fire for dropping the ball on child labor law compliance. ABC4 recently reported Crumbl Cookies has been found in violation of said laws in multiple states.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations at 11 franchises located in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. There were a range of violations found; in some cases, minors (i.e. those under the age of 18) were working more than 40 hours per week, and in other cases minors were found operating dangerous machinery such as ovens. There were 46 total workers affected by these violations, many of them between the ages of 14 and 15.

Though the specific regulations vary by state, generally, workers in this age range are not allowed to work more than eight hours in a day, not more than 40 hours per week total, and cannot work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.—unless it’s the summer season, in which case the curfew for minor-aged workers is 9 p.m.

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Crumbl Cookies released a statement assuring the public that the company takes these violations seriously and intends to address the issue.

We are actively working to understand what has occurred at these specific store locations and will take appropriate action to ensure that all of our franchisees are fully compliant with the law,” Crumbl wrote. “We apologize to any of our franchisees’ employees who may have been affected by this situation and want to assure the public that we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance at every Crumbl location.”

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Crumbl, however, is not the only chain to overlook the legal protections granted to teenage employees. This appears to be an industry-wide issue, as both Chipotle and Dairy Queen were recently found to have violated child labor laws in multiple states including New Jersey, Indiana, and Michigan. Both brands paid hefty fines, and Chipotle also agreed to implement a plan meant to keep the chain compliant with child labor laws moving forward.

As a result of Crumbl’s recent violations, the cookie chain owes $57,854 in penalties. For a company that operates more than 600 locations in 47 states, that’s probably not as big a hit as it might seem. But I guess that’s just how the cookie crumbles. (I make no apologies for this. You’ve reached the end of the article.)