A Maryland McDonald’s franchise that operates the fast food restaurants in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas has agreed to pay more than $250,000 in back wages to workers in a settlement with federal authorities.
Annapolis-based franchise operators Gold Hat Inc. and Gold Hat II Inc., which have the same owner, will pay back wages and damages to 138 workers after the U.S. Department of Labor found violations of minimum wage, overtime and child labor provisions, reports The Baltimore Sun.
The companies also will pay $4,300 in civil penalties for the child labor violations, under the agreement.
Mark Lara, director of the wage and hour division's Baltimore district office, said in a statement, "These employees were denied wages they had rightfully earned working long hours for this employer."
Gold Hat Inc. runs McDonald's in Annapolis, Arnold, Hampstead and Owings Mills, while Gold Hat II operates locations in Annapolis, Eldersburg, Owings Mills, Centreville and Chestertown.
The firm told the newspaper the companies are committed to complying with wage and hour laws and disagree with "some positions" taken by the labor department.
The Labor Department says that when employees worked at more than one location for the Gold Hat companies during the same workweek, the hours they worked at the different locations were not totaled to determine if overtime was due, reports the Baltimore Business Journal.
Federal officials also claim that 14- and 15-year old employees worked outside of the hours permitted by federal child labor regulations.