BOSTON — Qdoba Restaurant Corp. has been assessed $409,400 in penalties for more than 1,000 child labor law violations at its 22 corporate-owned locations in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Wednesday.
Among the locations is the Qdoba at Mansfield Crossing on School Street in Mansfield.
The AG’s office said in a news release that it began investigating Qdoba after receiving a complaint from a minor employee in March 2018 alleging that she had worked late into the evening at a Newton Qdoba location.
According to the release, a review of Qdoba’s records revealed that minors routinely worked in violation of the law, and an audit of all 22 Massachusetts Qdoba locations showed thousands of violations, including minors working too late into the evening and too many hours per shift.
Investigators at the AG’s office reported finding almost 200 instances in which a minor worked more than 11 hours in a single shift at Qdoba, and 18 instances of minors working more than 48 hours in a week.
Additionally, investigators allege Qdoba’s records show more than 1,000 instances of a minor working later than 10:30 p.m. on a night preceding a school day, and on more than 25 occasions Qdoba failed to obtain work permits prior to hiring minor employees.
Employees at the Mansfield location declined to comment and referred The Sun Chronicle to its corporate offices. An email sent to the media contact listed for the company was not immediately answered.
The citations include a penalty of $250 for each violation, which is the maximum penalty allowed for first-time violators of the child labor statute. The company continued to violate the law into May 2019, more than a year after the investigation began, the release stated.
Under Massachusetts law, children under 18 may not work more than nine hours in a day or more than 48 hours in a week. Fourteen- and 15-year-old children may not work later than 7 p.m., and 16- and 17-year-old children may not work later than 10 p.m., on a night preceding a school day. State law also requires employers to have work permits on file for all workers under 18 years of age.