Three of the nation’s largest movie theater companies have been fined over $277,000 by the U.S. Labor Department for alleged child-labor law violations. The alleged violations occurred in theaters located in nine states including South Carolina.
Regal Cinemas, Incorporated, Marcus Theatres Corporation, and Wehrenberg Incorporated were cited for allowing dozens of teens to work longer hours than allowed by the youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. U.S. Department of Labor spokesman Scott Allen says the companies were also cited for allowing teens to perform hazardous jobs.
Knoxville, Tennessee based Regal Cinemas paid more than $158,00 in civil penalties, Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Marcus theatres was fined $94,000, St. Louis-based Wehrenberg, Inc. was fined over $25,000 in penalties.
Allen says the problems have become systemic to the industry, and the Labor Department wanted to send a message that their violations will not be tolerated.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, youth under 18 may not work more than three hours on a school day and 18 hours in a school week. They can work eight hours on a non-school day and 40 hours in a week when school is not in session.
Allen says in addition to paying the fines, the companies agreed to implement comprehensive internal compliance and training programs.
Along with South Carolina, theaters operated by the three companies in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin were also cited.