Owner of Haverhill, Methuen Burger Kings Settles Child Labor Claims

The owner of a Haverhill Burger King and 42 other Massachusetts locations has agreed to pay $250,000 to the state to settle claims of 843 child labor violations.

Northeast Foods of Sugarland, Texas, and owner Shoukat Dhanani were cited by Attorney General Maura Healey for employing minors who were “working too long, too late and without proper work permits.” Dhanani is the second largest Burger King franchise owner in the country and owns Burger King locations in several states.

“Many fast food employees are young, working their first jobs, and do not know their rights,” said Healey Tuesday. “It’s important that this major national Burger King franchisee, which employees a number of young people, complies with child labor laws and ensures that minors are safe in its restaurants.”

Besides the 74 Plaistow Road location, the list of restaurants released by Healey’s office included two in Methuen at 95 Pleasant Valley St. and 248 Haverhill St.

Healey’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after it received a complaint that a minor was working too late at a Tewksbury location. An investigation went on to find 843 child labor violations during the first five months of this year at nearly 30 locations. Violations included minors working shifts beyond the total maximum daily hours allowed or shifts that ended later than allowed under state law—in some cases past 3 a.m. Many of the minor employees also did not have the proper work permits.

The attorney general’s office said the company has since come into compliance with all state child labor laws.