Crumbl Cookies May Have Violated Child Labor Laws

Kids really love cookies, you certainly don't need us to tell you that. Who doesn't know a kid that wouldn't jump at the chance of getting some cookies? But what do cookies and child labor laws have to do with each other? Are America's youngsters putting down their toys and punching clocks just to fulfill that craving for sweet, sweet chocolate chips?

Before we get into that, we must first talk about Crumbl Cookies. Having first opened in 2017 in Utah under the control of cousins Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley (via Crumbl Cookies), the chain has become well-known for its wide variety of flavors and its often-rotating weekly menu. Indeed, the unique characteristics of Crumbl Cookies' success are something to talk about – The Silicon Review's interview with Jason McGowan details that the company prides itself on "transparency," with open kitchens where customers can watch cookies being made with fresh, gourmet ingredients. ABC News also notes that the company's focus on marketing through extensive social media use also helped its rise to popularity, with an incredible 1.7 million followers on TikTok as of 2021. For Crumbl Cookies, the old saying "that's the way the cookie crumbles" seems to be something of a good luck charm.

But for all of Crumbl Cookies' well-earned success, it seems that scandals may find their way into the dough every now and then. Crumbl Cookies has recently been accused of violating child labor laws in several stores across not one, but six different states.

Crumbl Cookies had younger employees working too long

When we say "violation of child labor laws," we don't mean that Crumbl Cookies had small children working into the wee hours rolling out dough, or baking cookies. It's more of a matter of younger employees working too long or working without certain permissions.

As ABC News explains, Crumbl Cookie locations in the states of California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington stand accused of allowing underage employees (ages 14 and 15, for example) to work more hours than the law permits. The U.S. Department of Labor tells us that 14 or 15-year-old employees can not work more than eight hours per day if school is not in session or above 18 hours a week if school is in session. The company is also accused of letting said employees operate machinery such as ovens without proper assistance, per ABC News. Should Crumbl Cookie be found guilty, these locations would have to pay a total of $57,854 in penalties. 

Crumbl Cookies isn't the only company to have recently been under fire for violating child labor laws. Several McDonald's franchises in the Pittsburgh area have been caught allowing underage employees to work above permitted hours (via CNN) and an Indiana Dairy Queen was also charged with similar violations in September 2022 (via Restaurant Business Online).