Photo Of 14-Year-Old Working The Register At A Fast Food Restaurant Has People Calling Out 'Dangerous' Labor Laws

Children shouldn't be working at fast food restaurants.

Burger King counter, teenage boy working at Culver's, Burger King hiring sign Sorbis / Shutterstock / Twitter

In the United States, child labor laws exist to protect young children and minors regarding their potential terms for employment.

Although children above the age of 14 are legally allowed to work, there are a massive amount of restrictions placed upon them until they reach 16 — such as being unable to work more than 8 hours a week while school is in session.

At 16, some restrictions are lightened until they turn 18 when are allowed to work like any other adult.


Despite these child labor laws, child labor is still a widely controversial subject around the entire world, which is why one tweet came off as a massive shock to the people of Twitter.

People were stunned to see a young teenage boy working behind the counter of a fast food restaurant.

The tweet was posted on February 5, 2023, and featured two separate photos alongside the caption “nah bro what,” showing the poster’s incredulity with what she was seeing.

On the left was an image of what appears to be a very young child (likely a 14-year-old) working behind the cash register at Culver’s — a fast food chain popular in Wisconsin.


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On the right was an image of a not-so-typical “Now Hiring” sign that read “HEY PARENTS!!! Do you have a 14 or 15-year-old? Do they need a job?? We will hire them! Ask for an application!!”


If the exploitation of child labor didn’t irk you to begin with, perhaps the inquisitive and almost excited nature of the sign did.

“Holy s--t, that kid looks like they're still in *middle school*,” read one of the top replies to the tweet.

“I love being insanely angry first thing every morning,” read another.

Despite having worked since I was 14 as well, this writer can recognize the difference between my place of employment, which require very light manual labor and potentially working in the kitchen of a fast food restaurant.

“Food service, and many others, can also be dangerous, especially for kiddos,” one user shared. “I started serving at a restaurant at age 15, and I had wrist injuries from the strain as early as age 17 that took years to resolve.”


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Not only is it potentially dangerous, but they’re also being paid far less for the same work.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act Amendments in 1996, employers are allowed to pay workers under 20 years of age $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.

Employers are not allowed to replace current workers with employees under 20 and are also not allowed to fire them before the 90-day window has elapsed, but it still provides an opportunity for exploitation for employers who want to hire cheap workers.

Many people don’t think that children under 18 should have to worry about working at all, with one user writing, “Can the private sector just let kids be kids.” 


“No [14-year-old] kid should be working, they shouldn't have to worry about jobs until their adulthood.”

Despite the outpouring of opposition against the idea of child labor, others have commented and shared their confusion, wondering what’s wrong with allowing the teen to work.

“Where I’m from everyone starts working at 14,” one user wrote. “Been like that for decades. I’m so confused with the issue.”


Others argued that having a part-time job this early could teach children responsibility and how to handle money, but the whole idea is that children shouldn’t have to worry about adult responsibilities.

Whatever the case, social media users don’t know any of the nuances that might go along with the child’s employment, but they sure do enjoy debating it online.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.