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UCOMM

No daycare, so bring 'em to work

Children of servers ages 10 to 17 bus tables while boss steals their youth and mom's wages

Katherine Klahn's picture
Dec 29, 2015

Witchita Mountains, Kansas - A popular burger joint in the Witchita Mountains in Kansas is coming under fire for several Labor Law infractions. The US Department of Labor is now involved and has announced that "Meers Store and Restaurant" owes its employees approximately $181,000 in unpaid wages since 2012.   But that's not all, Meers Restaurant is also charged with Oppressive Child Labor.

We live in a day where we recognize the importance of our children having a youth - going outside to play while still allowing them to learn and enjoy their time at school. This is all part of the American Dream for our children. It is unacceptable that there are still employers who will find ways to circumvent the law to exploit our children. This takes away from their youth - the responsibility of having a job should not be on a child's radar. 
 
In the case of Meers Restaurant, children ages 10 to 17 were unpaid for busing tables. The Restaurants owner claims that it was customary for waitresses to bring their children to work when they didn't have childcare. The owner says that some of the children would help their mothers clean off the tables from time to time - and this is why they were accused of Oppressive Child Labor. Seems innocent enough? 
Well, I'm not sure if I buy this excuse, especially considering the additional labor law issues this restaurant is said to have committed. Meers Restaurant is also cited as failing to pay overtime and paying less than minimum wage.
 
As the mother of a young girl we must let our children to be young and must never go back to a time similar to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" - where children are risking life and limb to bring money home to the family. When my daughter comes of age, I will be happy to help her find a job - but for now, I'll allow her to have her youth, a basic human right that the children of Meers employees had taken from them. 

 

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