San Diego-based burrito chain Qdoba has incurred nearly half a million dollars in fines from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office for violating Massachusetts child labor laws. The $409,400 penalty is reportedly the largest citation for child labor violations in the commonwealth, and it came about following a tip from a minor who indicated that she had been working late hours at a Qdoba in Newton.
An investigation revealed “routine” violations where minors worked either too late in the day or too many hours per shift. The initial tip came in March 2018, and the investigation tracked more than 1,000 violations at 22 corporate-owned locations in Massachusetts through May 2019. That included situations where minors worked more than 11 hours in one shift, more than 48 hours in a week, or later than 10:30 p.m. on an evening before a school day. In some cases, Qdoba also reportedly did not obtain work permits before hiring minors.
At $250 per violation, the total fine for Qdoba is nearly as much as the entirety of labor violation fines levied for the previous fiscal year in Massachusetts.