Jan 4, 2023 - News

Crumbl Cookies franchises fined for violating child labor regulations

Signs for Crumbl cookies beside a palm tree at Veranda shopping center in Concord, California.

Signs for Crumbl cookies. Photo: Gado/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Labor fined Crumbl Cookies franchises in six states last month for violating child labor regulations.

  • Following a federal investigation, the franchise owners were hit with penalties totaling nearly $58,000.

Details: The violations impacted 46 minors working in 11 stores in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah and Washington, according to the Labor Department.

  • Infractions included minors working longer and later shifts than child labor laws allow and having them operate "potentially dangerous" ovens and machinery.
  • Many of them were 14-15 years old.
  • Under federal law, 14- and 15-year-olds cannot work more than eight hours per day, exceed 40 hours a week, or work past 7pm during the school year.

Zoom in: Crumbl operates 28 stand-alone stores in Utah, according to its store locator.

  • The report says 18 minors were affected across stores in Bountiful, Centerville, Layton and Ogden, totaling $18,327 in penalties.

What they're saying: "It is the responsibility of every employer who hires minor workers to understand child labor laws, and comply with them or potentially face costly consequences," Betty Campbell, wage and hour division regional administrator in Dallas, said in a statement.

  • In a statement to Axios, Crumbl said it was "deeply disappointed" to learn about the child labor violations and apologized to the employees affected.
  • "We are actively working to understand what has occurred at these specific store locations and will take swift and appropriate action to ensure that all of our franchisees are fully compliant with the law," Crumbl said.
  • Utah State University, which announced a five-year partnership with the cookie company last year, did not respond to Axios' request for comment.

Background: Crumbl Cookies, headquartered in Lindon and considered one of the fastest-growing food chains in the U.S., has opened more than 600 stores in 47 states since launching in 2017. Many of its bakeries are franchised.

Flashback: Last year, Crumbl made waves when it sued two competitors — Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies — for trademark infringement.


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