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Big Burger King franchisee to pay $250K over child labor violations

Northeast Foods was cited in Massachusetts for letting children work too long and too late.

One of the country’s largest franchisees has agreed to pay a $250,000 penalty after the Massachusetts attorney general cited the company for more than 800 child labor law violations in that state.

Northeast Foods, a company owned by the Sugarland, Texas-based Dhanani Group, was cited for having minors work too long, too late, and without proper work permits, the state’s attorney general announced on Tuesday.

The franchisee has also come into compliance with all of the state’s child labor laws and has updated its practices, the attorney general said.

Dhanani is Burger King’s second-largest operator, with more than 500 locations. It is also the country’s third-largest franchisee, according to Franchise Times Magazine, with more than $1 billion in annual sales. The company also operates more than 200 Popeyes locations.

The attorney general said that it began investigating Northeast Foods after receiving a complaint that a minor worked too late at a location in Tewksbury, Mass.

The office cited the company with 843 child labor law violations in 30 locations in the state between January and May this year. The operator allegedly had minors work shifts that exceeded allowable limits, in some instances past 3 a.m. Many of the minors did not have proper work permits.

“It’s important that a major, national Burger King franchisee, which employs a number of young people, complies with child labor laws and ensures that minors are safe in its restaurants,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.

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