MANCHESTER, NH – The owners of two southern New Hampshire wineries, restaurants, event venues and retail operations in Amherst and Derry violated the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act when they allowed 33 employees younger than 16 years of age to work more hours than allowed under the law.
The FLSA’s minimum age for employment in most non-agricultural occupations is 14 years of age, subject to certain requirements and limitations for youth workers under the age of 18. The child labor regulations restrict youth under 16 from working more than 3 hours on a school day or 8 hours on non-school days; more than 18 hours in school weeks or 40 hours in non-school weeks; prior to 7 a.m.; and after 7 p.m., except June 1 through Labor Day, when the evening hours are extended to 9 p.m.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found LaBelle Winery and Americus at LaBelle Winery allowed employees under 16 years of age to work as many as 6 hours on a school day, 9 hours on non-school days, 24 hours in a school week and as late as 11 p.m.
The LaBelle Winery and Americus at LaBelle Winery paid $22,803 in civil money penalties to resolve their FLSA child labor violations.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act’s youth employment regulations exist to ensure youths’ jobs and work hours do not jeopardize their safety, well-being or educational opportunities,” said Wage and Hour District Director Steven McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Employers can prevent violations from occurring in the first place if they know, understand and comply with the FLSA’s child labor, wage and recordkeeping requirements. We urge employers to review their employment practices and contact our office to discuss any questions they may have.”
The division’s investigation also found that the employers required tipped employees to pay for uniforms during their first week of employment, violating the FLSA’s minimum wage requirements. They also failed to pay overtime to non-exempt employees paid on a salary basis and paid an incorrect overtime rate to tipped employees, in violation of FLSA overtime provisions. The division also cited recordkeeping violations. The division’s investigation led to the recovery of $14,698 in back wages for 69 employees.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.