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Chick-fil-A in North Carolina has been fined for paying employees with free meals rather than wages, according to the Labor Department.

The United States Department of Labor fined a North Carolina Chick-fil-A for violating federal child labour and minimum wage regulations by paying some employees with meal vouchers rather than wages.

According to a Labor Department news release issued on Wednesday, the violation was one of several at the restaurant, and it was fined $6,450. According to the Labor Department, the Hendersonville Chick-fil-A employed three minors under the age of 18 to operate a trash compactor, in violation of federal child-labor regulations that prohibit hiring minors to perform hazardous jobs.

The investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division also discovered that the restaurant paid employees who directed traffic for meal vouchers rather than wages, in violation of federal minimum wage law.

In addition to the fine, the restaurant was ordered to pay $235 in back wages to seven employees.

In July, the same Chick-Fil-A location received harsh public backlash after posting a social media request for “volunteers” to work the restaurant’s new drive-thru express. Instead of monetary compensation, the fast-food chicken restaurant promised food.

The post was later removed after receiving numerous negative comments. Chick-fil-A said at the time that the programme had been cancelled and that the company did not support it.

It’s unclear whether this prompted the investigation. According to Eric Lucero, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor, the Wage and Hour Division conducts investigations “for a variety of reasons, all of which have to do with enforcing the laws and ensuring an employer’s compliance.”

The Labor Department also stated that this was not the first time the Hendersonville restaurant had been fined.

“In 2002, an investigation was also completed. For child labour violations, the employer paid $645 in civil monetary penalties “According to the spokesperson.

“Child labour laws ensure that when young people work, their health, well-being, or educational opportunities are not jeopardised.” “According to the release, Richard Blaylock, a local Department of Labor director. “Furthermore, employers must pay employees for all hours worked, and the payment must be made in cash or legal tender.”

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