Eight Baskin-Robbins stores in Utah fined almost $50K for violating federal child labor law

An investigation found that 64 teenagers had worked “too late in the day and too many hours in a week,” a news release said.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A Baskin Robbins location in West Valley City, Thursday, March 21, 2024. It's one of eight Utah locations of the ice cream chain, owned by the same franchisee, cited for violations of federal child labor laws.

The U.S. Department of Labor has fined a Utah franchisee of Baskin-Robbins for violating federal child labor law at eight ice cream stores in three counties.

An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the franchisee — an LLC called Jode — violated federal by having 64 teenagers “work too late in the day and too many hours in a week” while school was in session, a news release stated. The Baskin-Robbins stores where the teens were working are in American Fork, Bountiful, Clearfield, Layton, Salt Lake City, Sandy, West Jordan and West Valley City.

Baskin-Robbins was fined $49,833 for child labor violations, just less than $800 per minor, who were all 14 and 15 years old.

According to the release, the employer said they had relied on “erroneous” legal guidance that had advised them to follow state guidelines instead of the more stringent federal law. Several record-keeping violations were also discovered, the release stated.

Justin Odekirk, the franchisee of the eight stores according to Utah business records, didn’t immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

“Employers must be aware of, and comply with, all federal labor standards, particularly when it comes to young workers,” said Wage and Hour district director Kevin Hunt in Salt Lake City. “Where a disparity exists between federal and state laws, employers must adhere to the most stringent standards. We encourage employers and employees to contact our office directly to get accurate information pertaining to federal labor laws and avoid an unfortunate situation like this one.”