Teens on the T

February 19, 2020

This month, two fast-food chains paid the price for violating child labor laws: Chipotle was hit with a $1.37 million fine for more than 13,000 child labor violations at its Massachusetts restaurants and Wendy’s was hit with $400,000 in fines for more than 2,100 child labor violations.
These fines were made possible by hard-fought protections for young workers won by Teens Lead @Work in 2007. As a result of their leadership and the involvement of many other youths, unions, and occupational health professionals, the Attorney General was given the ability to cite and fine employers who violate the Child Labor Laws that they used to fine Chipotle and Wendy’s.
Although employers are fully responsible for protecting their employees and following the law, Teens Lead @ Work has been hard at work raising young worker awareness of these laws so that young workers know when their rights are being violated.  Part of these efforts is TL@W’s involvement in the Massachusetts Safe Jobs for Youth Poster Contest. Held annually by the Massachusetts Youth Employment and Safety Team (YES Team) the contest has been a way of involving teens aged 14 to 19 in promoting safer work for themselves and their peers.
On January 30, our peer leaders assembled with the Yes Team to select their favorite works, part of a judging contest that would score the first place finalist $500 and a chance to see their work on MBTA vehicles. Finalists and contest winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 11, an event that TL@W will also be actively involved.