The department's Wage and Hour Division found violations affecting 46 minor workers at 11 franchises located in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Per a press release obtained by ABC4, an investigation found that the franchises in question allowed young employees, "many 14 and 15 years of age," to work more than the law permits or in "hazardous or prohibited occupations." Additional violations included minors operating dangerous machinery, like ovens, and working more than 40 hours per week.
Although labor laws vary from state to state, many laws prohibit 14 and 15-year-old workers from working more than 8 hours per day or working over 40 hours per workweek. Minors also can't work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when their night shifts can end at 9 p.m.
The specific names of the 11 Crumbl franchises are as follows: Andersen Brentwood Inc., Walnut Creek Cookies LLC, Tri-Valley Treats LLC, Alpine Country Road LLC, Daniel Webster and Silver Dr NH LLC, Celestial Creations Hixson LLC, BE Bountiful LLC, BE Centreville LLC, Farr Bakeries LLC, SPB Investments II LLC and Limitless Enterprises LLC.
Tri-Valley Treats LLC, located in San Ramon, CA, has 9 affected minor employees and $15,417 in penalties, making it the franchise with the highest violations.
Collectively, Crumbl owes $57,854 in penalties. However, considering that Crumbl operates more than 600 locations in 47 states, the cookie franchise should have no problem paying their debts.
In response to the recent news and a request from ABC4 for further comment, Crumbl released this statement:
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At Crumbl, we are committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming work environment for all of our franchisees and their employees. We take any violation of federal labor laws very seriously. We were deeply disappointed to learn that a small number of our franchised locations were found to be in violation of these laws.
We are actively working to understand what has occurred at these specific store locations and will take appropriate action to ensure that all of our franchisees are fully compliant with the law. We apologize to any of our franchisees' employees who may have been affected by this situation and want to assure the public that we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance at every Crumbl location.