By Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. Department of Labor has fined three movie theaters with operations in Minnesota for violating child labor laws.

Steve Allen is with the department. He said about 160 teenagers were being required to perform hazardous jobs like operating paper balers and trash compactors, operating motor vehicles and using power-driven mixers and baking in theaters owned by three chains.

Marcus Theater Corporation also allowed youth to work beyond permitted hours.

“And what the big issue is that we think this is a systemic problem in the industry,” he said.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

Allen said they have launched a strategic enforcement initiative because of the high rate of child labor violations in the industry that relies on young people.

In Minnesota, investigators found violations at the Marcus Theater in Oakdale and the Galaxy 14 in Rochester.

Marcus Theater Corporation, Regal Cinemas and Wehrenberg Incorporated paid $277,475 in civil penalties.

Comments (12)
  1. scott says:

    I had my first job at age 14. What’s wrong with kids that want to work? Nothing. What’s wrong with kids that use power equipment? Northing! What’s wrong with this story? Maybe the lack of adult supervision and or proprer tranning and neither of those two things were mentioned. If that was not the case then what is problem???

  2. Jim says:

    Does this mean the State will soon be raiding Dairy Queen’s and telling us that kids were making Blizzards all by themselves?

    1. Ed says:

      Yes Jim that is were this is headed, we will need to create laws that will cost employers money and eliminate jobs for responsible young people while bringing money to the state from fines.

  3. jon says:

    Waste of taxpayer money this enforcement is.

    1. Todd says:

      Though I agree with Scott. I had my first job at 15 at Bridgemans, cooking and washing dishes until at least midnight. Fell with a fryer tray while straining it and burnt my self pretty badly. But they collected $277k, it’s a money maker. Thats the intention.

  4. Ed says:

    What were the thinking, giving young people responsibilities? Thats just not the Minnesota way, how will they learn to be lazy free-loaders with no common sense?

  5. MAJ says:

    Nice to read about teenagers ambitious enough to go out and get a job. I think a lesson could be learned without imposing a fine. It is a two way street – theatre owners need help and teenagers need jobs. Not all parents are able to fork over $$$$$$ to their children. Times are tough.

  6. Dredd says:

    Sure you can sail around the world when your 16, fly a plane when your 12, race gocarts at 60mph when your 10, but dooooo not touch that baler! get away from that blender! and for petes sake, get home by 9!!

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    Having a job and earning money is better than doing drugs.

    My Dad was traveling the world, working on a grain ship at 16 years old.

    Now days 30 year old kids live at home in the basement.

  8. Jake says:

    I’m thinking that some insurance companies lobbied for these regulations. Some young people are not mature enough to handle these type of duties and the laws are only trying to protect these kids. It is crazy when you think about it. I grew up where a 13 year old could drive a grain truck, come harvest time, and they get fined for baling up some cardboard boxes.

  9. Manny Grace says:

    i have a son that is 13 and he works an a caddie and I’m wondering how that works

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