McDonald’s hiring 14-year-olds in Oregon, US

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Due to a shortage of fast-food workers, a branch of McDonald’s in the US city – Oregon is hiring 14 and 15-year-old kids to work at the restaurant.

The restaurant on Biddle Road in Medford urged kids to apply for the job by putting a banner outside its shop two weeks ago.

Reports suggest there has been a spike in applications since making the offer, which complies with labour laws.

It comes as fast food and other outlets across the US struggle to fill vacancies despite restrictions easing.

According to Heather Kennedy, operator of the Medford restaurant – such staff shortages were “unheard of” in her family’s 40-year history operating McDonald’s franchises.

In the beginning, she tried to attract more workers by raising the restaurant’s minimum wage to $15 (£10.50). But her plan didn’t work.

However, she had received more than 25 new applications since she opened her doors to under 16s.

McDonald’s did not comment on the move but said – franchisees were using a variety of trials to tackle staff shortages.

It includes better pay, sign-on bonuses, and new benefits like backup childcare.

Moreover, the fast-food brand also recently announced to raise hourly wages – $15 per hour probably – at company owned restaurants across the country.

It is not the first time that any fast-food restaurant has asked younger workers to fill in their staff gaps.

Recently, branches of Burger King and Wendy’s have put up similar signs.

And as per reports, the Texan chain Layne’s Chicken Fingers is promoting teen and early 20s workers into managerial positions, due to the lack of more experienced employees.

In the US labour laws vary from state to state. But in Oregon, people of the age of 14 and above are allowed to work in non-hazardous jobs such as food service, unless their jobs do not come in the way of their schooling. And they get adequate rest breaks.

However, the average age of the employees in McDonald’s in the US is 27 – according to research from the jobs website Zippia.

Because of the pandemic, the country is facing a sharp labour shortage; schools are shut and the lack of available child-care is keeping workers at home.

Some economists have also blamed generous federal benefits brought in during the pandemic – which provide an extra $300 every week – although these have already expired in many states.

Vacancies for lower-skilled, lower-paid jobs have been particularly hard to fill, prompting firms such as Walmart and Amazon to offer retention bonuses and higher starting wages.

 

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