By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — The operator of four Wausau Subway Restaurant franchises has paid nearly $48,000 in fines for violating federal child labor and record-keeping laws, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release.

Federal investigators determined that Shadowlake Enterprises, based in Stevens Point, violated federal occupational standards for employees younger than age 16. Officials say the company allowed 55 employees, age 14 and 15, to operate prohibited baking and toaster ovens. Underage employees also worked more than three hours on school days or more than 8 hours on non-school days, violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Investigators say Shadowlake also failed to maintain records verifying the date of birth for some employees younger than 19.

“Employment standards for 14- and 15-year-old workers ensure minors gain a positive work experience that does not interfere with their education, health, and well-being,” said Wage and Hour District Director David King, in Minneapolis. “Child labor violations can be avoided when employers understand the rules. We encourage employers to contact us for guidance, and use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them comply with the law.”

Shadowlake Enterprises has agreed to use a computerized scheduling system that will automatically control the hours scheduled for individual employees based on their age.