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.

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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.

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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.

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