Boston — Had Town Sports International (TSI), New York, not been a public company, its violation of child labor laws may not have surfaced, according to one industry observer.
TSI recently paid fines totaling $40,000 in Massachusetts for violating that state's child labor laws. TSI, which runs Boston Sports Clubs, and its president and CEO, Alex Alimanestianu, were cited for more than 1,600 violations at 23 clubs it operates in Massachusetts.
Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, says many clubs are not aware of their state's child labor laws.
“A publicly traded company will be scrutinized before a private one,” Caro says. “Then, the publicly traded company often has to disclose such offenses. I would imagine that whatever laws TSI violated, lots of other private clubs have also [violated] — but just not publicized.”
To its credit, TSI owned up to its mistakes and cooperated with the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley during the investigation. The company completed a review of its payroll records and hiring practices and took the necessary steps to comply with the state's child labor laws, according to a statement from the company to Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro.
“We take our responsibilities as a corporate citizen within this outstanding community very seriously,” TSI said in the statement. “We are proud that we can provide employment opportunities for students in our clubs and summer programs.”
TSI had to pay a $15,000 fine for violations related to minors working before and after permissible hours, another $15,000 fine for employing minors more than the maximum hours and days per week, and a $10,000 fine relating to the employment of minors without work permits.