Skip navigation
wendy-s-franchisee-pennsylvania-child-labor-violations.jpg The Wendy's Co.
GCWen Management, which operates 21 restaurants in Pennsylvania, has been fined for state child labor act violations.

PA Wendy’s franchisee fined for child labor violations

GCWen Management, operator of 21 restaurants, fined $300,000 for 766 state violations

GCWen Management, an operator of 21 Wendy’s locations in three Pennsylvania counties, has been fined $300,000 for 766 violations of the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act of 2023, the state’s labor department said Wednesday.

Nancy Walker, secretary of the Harrisburg, Penn.-based Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, said the violations included failure to provide more than 80 child employees with breaks as required by law.

In December, industry giant McDonald’s Corp. was reported to begin surveying its U.S. franchisees about their child labor practices as the company has navigated several child labor law violations in the past several years. 

In the Pennsylvania cases, Walker said in a statement: “L&I is dedicated to championing the rights of workers through enforcement of Pennsylvania's labor laws. This commitment extends to vigorously protecting our children from unlawful employment practices.

“Remember, they are not just workers -- they're our kids -- and their safety and rights are paramount,” Walkers said. “No company should ever put profit over the wellbeing of Pennsylvania's youth."

Pennsylvania's Child Labor Act, enforced by L&I's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, is aimed at protecting the health, safety, and welfare of children employed in the commonwealth by limiting employment in certain establishments and occupations, restricting the hours of work, regulating work conditions, and requiring work permits for children hired to fill certain positions.

The Child Labor Act allows for a maximum fine of up to $5,000 per violation. All fines collected from child labor law investigations are deposited to Pennsylvania's general fund.

Following a tip from L&I's Bureau of Workers' Compensation about minor injuries of children taking place at some Wendy's locations, the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance opened an investigation into all the GCWen franchise locations in Pennsylvania.

The bureau identified:  

  • 432 violations of failure to provide breaks — the business did not provide breaks on or before the fifth hour of work — involving 81 children.
  • 18 violations of not securing a work permit — the business employed a child who did not have appropriate work papers for children hired to fill a position — involving 18 children.
  • 98 violations of failure to announce employment or employment change to a school district. The business failed to notify a child's respective school within five days of hiring a child or failed to notify the respective school within five days of termination or resignation that a child left employment. That involved 98 children.
  • 10 violations of no parent authorization. The business employed a child under the age of 16 without parental authorization. That involved 10 children.
  • 208 violations of excessive hours worked, involving 34 children.

As part of the settlement, GCWen Management teams are required to undergo training provided by the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance on how to adhere to the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act. 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on X/Twitter: @RonRuggless

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.