Crumbl Cookies, a "fast-growing" Utah-based franchise with nearly 700 locations across the U.S., is accused of violating child labor laws in six states, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The labor department said 11 operators have allowed employees as young as 14 and 15 years old to work more hours than allowed by law and in "hazardous or prohibited occupations."
The violations affected 46 workers in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.
Operators are accused of assigning young employees to operate potentially dangerous ovens and machinery, in addition to scheduling them for longer and later shifts, the labor department said.
In all, the operators were fined $57,854 for the violations, with the highest fine going to Tri-Valley Treats LLC in San Ramon, California. That franchise is accused of violating child labor laws for nine workers. They were fined $15,417.
Other fines include:
- Anderson Brentwood Inc., Brentwood, California — fined $7,543 for violations involving six minors
- Walnut Creek Cookies LLC, Concord, California — fined $3,597 for violations involving three minors
- Alpine Country Road LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota — fined $1,468 for violations involving two minors
- Daniel Webster and Silver Dr NH LLC, Nashua, New Hampshire — fined $4,368 for violations involving three minors
- Celestial Creations Hixson LLC, Hixson, Tennessee — fined $1,542 for violations involving three minors
- BE Bountiful LLC, Bountiful, Utah — fined $7,423 for violations involving nine minors
- BE Centerville LLC, Centerville, Utah — fined $3,624 for violations involving five minors
- Farr Bakeries LLC, Layton, Utah — fined $5,460 for violations involving three minors
- SBP Investments II LLC, Ogden, Utah — fined $1,820 for violations involving one minor
- Limitless Enterprises LLC, Puyallup, Washington — fined $5,592 for violations involving two minors
Crumbl Cookies provided the following statement to FOX TV Stations in response to the violations:
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.