Ruby Tuesday agreed on Wednesday to pay $158,000 to settle charges that the national restaurant chain violated Massachusetts child labor laws, as well as laws governing meal breaks, at a number of its restaurants throughout the state.
According to a statement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the charges stemmed from a complaint that Ruby Tuesday was employing underage workers for more hours than permitted by law. An investigation revealed the restaurant chain also failed to get proper permits to employ underage workers.
“Our child labor laws are designed to protect minors in the workplace,” Coakley said in a statement. “Employers must adhere to the law to ensure the health and safety of their workers."
In addition to the child labor violations, the investigation revealed that Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Massachusetts weren't giving employees who worked more than six hours straight a mandatory 30 minute meal break.
The alleged violations occurred between 2007 and 2009, the year the restaurant instituted new policies and training to correct the violations.
Contacted by HuffPost about the settlement, Ruby Tuesday spokeswoman Sabrina Green said in an email, “Doing what is best for our team members and abiding by state and federal laws has always been and continues to be of upmost importance to Ruby Tuesday. We agreed to resolve the allegations raised by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in order to reduce the disruption of the investigation on our teams and the expense of protracted litigation.”
The Massachusetts charges aren't the only workplace legal trouble for Ruby Tuesday this year. This spring, waiters in Florida and New York sued the Tennessee-based chain for failure to pay regular wages or overtime.