Chick-fil-A Caught Trying To Give Employees Food Vouchers Instead of Cash for Their Work

Jeff Bukowski /
Jeff Bukowski /

Chick-fil-A (CFA) is synonymous across the country for its business practices. Long hated by many liberals and members of the LGTBQ+ community for their private donations to Christian-based organizations, they have found themselves under attack for their practices at various points throughout their history. Now the actions of one owner have them back in the crosshairs.

A Henderson, NC CFA owner is now facing fines for multiple offenses. Charged under the business name “Good Name 22:1 LLC,” the owner is responsible for allowing three minors to work, unload, or load a trash compactor. This resulted in a fine of $6,450.

Per the Department of Labor (DOL), “[s]ixteen- and 17-year-olds may load, but not operate or unload, certain scrap paper balers and paper box compactors under very specific guidelines.” While the exact ages of the minors have not been disclosed, this is not only a violation of the DOL regulations, but it is also a violation of general common sense.

CFA locations across the country are always staffed with adults as well as minors, and these adults are always more than happy to do these jobs to ensure minors don’t hurt themselves. Everything else aside, there is no excuse for at least a manager to be on duty and capable of doing this instead of the minors.

However, it was the DOL’s Wages and Hour Division that found the most egregious of violations with this CFA location. Specific workers were assigned to work outside to direct traffic or take drive-thru orders. These specific workers were not paid in money but instead handed meal vouchers. As a result, these seven employees were each paid $235 in back pay.

To Richard Blaylock, the Wage and Hour Division District director in Raleigh, North Carolina, the kids are the top concern over these fines. “Child labor laws ensure that when young people work, the work does not jeopardize their health, well-being, or educational opportunities. In addition, employers are responsible to pay workers for all of the hours worked and the payment must be made in cash or legal tender.”

Companies taking advantage of kids like this is absolutely horrific. While CFA has a great reputation for taking care of their employees, when kids are being mistreated, the top of the corporation needs to be thoroughly investigating their actions. These days, many kids are more than happy to have these stores available for their first jobs.

It’s at these jobs that these youngsters gain skills that can help them become successful leaders later on in life. That’s not to say that they don’t already get them at home, but the lessons learned at a first job tend to carry on for them for their whole lives. At this CFA location, they certainly got some great examples of what not to do.

While the owners got the fines, you have to wonder who made this decision. Did the owner tell the manager to have kids running the trash compactor, or did the manager(s) decide this was ok? Or did the kids choose to do it despite being told not to? The same owner vs manager(s) questions are also there for the disputed pay versus meal vouchers.

In the eyes of the law though, it doesn’t matter. The owner is responsible for the actions of the people they hire, much the same as the manager is responsible for their employees. By holding them responsible, the DOL has sent a message to everyone involved, as well as the entire Henderson, NC community.