Taco Bell franchise in Marysville among others fined by state for violating teen worker laws

MARYSVILLE – A Taco Bell franchise owner with a history of labor violations has been cited by state authorities for reportedly violating teen worker laws at the Taco Bell restaurant at Lakewood Crossing in Marysville.

The same owner was also cited for violations in Auburn.

The state Department of Labor and Industries proposes $70,000 in fines related to repeated violations over several years at a half-dozen Western Washington restaurants.

This week, L&I sent a letter to California-based franchise owner Taco Bell of America LLC requesting representatives meet with the agency to discuss required changes in the company’s youth employment practices.

“Teens are an important part of the workforce,” said David Johnson, L&I Employment Standards Program manager. “We enforce these laws to prevent injuries and keep them safe on the job.”

In all, six investigations over three years — based on complaints from employees and parents — have resulted in fines totaling $119,450.

The agency’s latest citation was issued in June for the Taco Bell at 17105 27th Ave. NE in Marysville. The agency investigation covering January and February found 11 youth worked more than three hours without taking a break 59 times; nine minors worked more than four hours without a break on 20 occasions, and the restaurant failed to produce parent school authorization forms or proof of age of the workers. L&I found similar violations at the Auburn restaurant.

The company, which owns about 60 restaurants in the state, is appealing the Marysville citation.

In 2015-16, L&I conducted other investigations of Taco Bell of America LLC locations. Those investigations resulted in fines paid by the company at locations in Auburn, Bonney Lake, Tumwater and Woodland.

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