Cincinnati Pizza Chain Fined $30,000 by Feds for Violating Child Labor Laws

Locations in Milford and Mariemont were found to have more than a dozen young teens operating dangerous equipment and working more than legally allowed.

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click to enlarge The U.S. Department of Labor said it claimed $11,950 in back overtime wages and damages from Mio's Pizza in Cincinnati and Milford. - Photo: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels
Photo: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels
The U.S. Department of Labor said it claimed $11,950 in back overtime wages and damages from Mio's Pizza in Cincinnati and Milford.

A local pizza chain has been fined by the U.S. Department of Labor for violating child labor laws, the department announced in a Feb. 22 press release.

Owners of Mio's Pizza in Mariemont and Milford were handed a combined $30,000 fine from the department after an investigation starting in May 2022 found violations of child labor, overtime and recordkeeping regulations. Authorities said shop owners Dan and Leslie Igo violated several provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Mio's Mariemont

At the Mio's location in Cincinnati's Mariemont neighborhood at 6930 Madisonville Road, which is operated by Stuff It LCC, investigators found 12 minors under the age of 16 were performing tasks in the kitchen that are illegal for employees of their age, including operating gas ovens, moving pizzas in and out of the a broiler/conveyor oven and using a mechanical dough puller and sheeter.

The investigation also found that 16 minors were assigned to work more hours than legally allowed for a minor. A manager was also found to be denying required overtime wages to an employee, claiming they were salaried and exempt from overtime pay. The department said the employee was paid only $584 per week, not the $684 required by law to make an employee exempt from overtime.

Mio's Milford

At the location in Milford on 732 Middleton Way, which was operated by Black Cat Pizzeria Inc. at the time of the investigation, investigators said they found nine minors under the age of 16 performing the same illegal duties seen in Mariemont. There were 20 minors found to be working more hours than legally allowed, and a manager owed back wages for a similar false overtime exemption claim.

The department said it claimed $11,950 in back overtime wages and damages, saying the violations also included the failure to keep accurate records.

Authorities said the violations happened before Dan and Leslie Igo sold the Milford location in late 2022.

“Since 2018, our investigators have seen an increase of child labor violations,” said wage and hour district director Matthew Utley in the release. “These violations include permitting minors to work with equipment and to perform tasks that can jeopardize their safety and employing them for more hours than federal law allows.”

CityBeat reached out to Mio's in an effort to speak with the owners, but they were not immediately available for comment.

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