Owners of The Rush Funplex fined for violating child labor laws

Aug 28, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:14 pm

(Screenshot from Google Maps)...

(Screenshot from Google Maps)

(Screenshot from Google Maps)

SALT LAKE CITY — The United States Department of Labor discovered that two locations of The Rush Funplex in Utah were violating child labor laws. 

Investigators determined that Syracuse Family Fun Center LLC employed 76 children. The children were working at The Rush Funplex in Syracuse and West Jordan. The 14- and 15-year-olds who were employed worked longer than permitted by labor laws while school was in session.

KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas says you can hire kids that young, but there are strict federal guidelines to follow. According to Skordas, these strict guidelines apply to the wage they can earn, the hours they can work and the type of work they can do.

Investigation into The Rush Funplex

It was found that several of the employed children were working in occupations prohibited to those at their age. Underaged employees were operating manual fryers, pizza ovens, and go-carts during their shifts, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor. 

“Learning new skills in the workforce is an important part of growing up – but we must protect children and ensure their first jobs are safe and do not interfere with their education or well-being,” explained Betty Campbell, the wage and hour regional administrator. 

The investigation also revealed that the company did not pay the legally required minimum wage to seven employees who were missed on payroll. Two of them were children. 

At the Syracuse location, it was found that they paid straight-time wages for hours that were worked overtime. The hours were worked by one child and some adult employees. 

Investigators assessed $166,908 in penalties. They also recovered $6,009 in back wages that affected more than 100 adults and children who were employed.

Skordas said the company can pay the fines and move on, however, it could hurt them in the long run.

“To a business like this, that could very well make the difference between a successful year and a year when they don’t make any money at all,” Skordas said.

The Rush Funplex gave KSL NewsRadio the following statement:

“Beginning in 2021, The Rush Funplex fully cooperated with the U.S. Department of Labor over a year-long investigation covering nearly 4 years of employment records. As we became aware of instances of non-compliance at 2 of our locations, we immediately implemented policy and procedure to prevent future occurrences.”

Child labor investigations

The department is currently making a nationwide effort to address the 69% increase in violations of child labor laws. 

According to the press release provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, the YouthRules! initiative promotes positive and safe working experiences for teenagers. In the fiscal year of 2022 alone, the department investigated 835 cases of child labor violations. They assessed more than $4.3 million in penalties related to violations that were found. 

“We encourage employers, young workers, their parents, and educators to use the many online resources the Wage and Hour Division provides or to contact us for additional guidance,” Campbell said.

Related reading: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

Dundee, a 4-year-old American pit bull mix, peers through his kennel at Salt Lake County Animal Ser...

Mariah Maynes

“Empty the Shelters” pet adoption event coming in October

BISSELL Pet Foundation has teamed up with animal shelters across the United States to host a reduced-fee pet adoption event in October.

17 hours ago

Hollywood, CA - September 24: Members of WGA picket in front of CBS Television City on Sunday, Sept...

Oliver Darcy and Chris Isidore, CNN

Writers Guild and studios reach tentative deal, potentially ending a months-long strike that ground Hollywood to a halt

Both Hollywood strikes have been drawn-out and costly, with the nationwide economic impact of more than $5 billion.

23 hours ago

Image of actor John Rhys-Davies, known for playing Gimli in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, signin...

Amie Schaeffer & Devin Oldroyd

How is FanX 2023 affected by the Hollywood strike?

FanX is celebrating its tenth year in SLC, but things may look a bit different this year as the SAG-AFTRA strike continues.

4 days ago

Image of a home decked out for Halloween in Sandy, Utah. Article is about where and how people are ...

Don Brinkerhoff

How people are spending their Halloween money this year

Consumers are being choosey on how they spend money this Halloween season amid inflation, but stores are still busy!

4 days ago

Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corp.
Photo Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters...

Oliver Darcy

Rupert Murdoch steps down as Fox and News Corp. chairman

Rupert Murdoch announced Thursday that he will step down as chairman of his companies, Fox Corporation and News Corporation.

4 days ago

This photo shows a logo of a McDonald's restaurant in Havertown, Pa., on April 26, 2022. A Californ...

Mark Jones

McDonald’s facing lawsuit over hot cup of coffee

A California woman is suing McDonald's after she claims the lid on a cup of hot coffee wasn't safely secured. The coffeee spilled on her, burning her.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Owners of The Rush Funplex fined for violating child labor laws