About 45 teens working at Vancouver trampoline park didn’t receive hundreds of earned meal breaks, worked too many hours
February 22, 2023
TUMWATER— Teens working at Sky Zone trampoline park in Vancouver, Wash., didn’t receive meal breaks, and worked more hours than the law allows during school times.
As a result, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) cited the firm more than $22,000. The firm did not appeal or pay the fine by a Feb. 15 deadline. The result means the agency will work to collect the funds.
The three month L&I investigation covered Feb. 15 to May 15, 2023. In Washington, teens working more than five consecutive hours earn a meal break. On more than 250 occasions, 43 teens at Sky Zone didn’t receive that break.
About the same number of teens, all 16-17 years old, also worked beyond hours allowed under law on more than 350 occasions. According to state law, teens that age can only work up to four hours on a school day, and no more than 20 hours in a school week.
“During the school year, students’ priority should be the classroom,” said Suzanne Dover, L&I youth employment specialist. “The law is meant to help students maintain that priority. It’s up to the employer to make sure they’re carefully managing their young workers and following state requirements.”
SZ Orlando Park LLC, based in Los Angeles, and Jeff Pratt, own the Vancouver business. Sky Zone describes itself as a franchised indoor trampoline park with a variety of attractions. There are some 200 parks nationwide.
Schools reported the complaint
L&I’s investigation began with complaints from local high schools. Dover credited the schools with helping student safety.
Schools, parents, employers, and teens, must all sign a Parent/School Authorization form before beginning employment. The form lists the hours the teen will work and other information.
More information about work requirements for teens is available L&I’s teen workers website, and simply clicking on “Hours of Work.” There is also information about prohibited duties and how to hire teens.