3 Restaurants Facing Child-Labor Violation Fines

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Three chicken restaurants in the Akron area are facing as much as $119,050 in fines for allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work prohibited hours and handle duties that are off-limits to young workers.

The Labor Department said the Hopocan Gardens and Whitehouse Chicken restaurants in Barberton and Hoppy's restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls had appealed the proposed fines and asked for a hearing.

The agency found violations involving 138 minors ages 14 or 15.

Federal law bars such youngsters from working past 7 p.m. during the school year or 9 p.m. during the summer, or working more than three hours on school days or more than eight hours on non-school days.

The government said 24 young workers were handling cooking duties prohibited for employees under 16.

Barry Haber, district director of the agency's Wage and Hour Division in Cleveland, said the owners had cooperated with investigators and the restaurants had come into compliance.

Brian Canale, president of the company that owns two of the restaurants and has an ownership interest in the third, was on vacation Tuesday and could not be reached. A woman handling phone orders at Hopocan Gardens agreed to take a message requesting comment.

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