The Oakley-Lindsay Center recently was fined $250 by the Illinois Department of Labor for a work-related incident involving a teenage girl learning to portray Gem Bird at Quincy Gems baseball games.
Carmen Marshaus, administrative assistant for the OLC, talked about the fine as part of her financial report at Wednesday’s Civic Center Authority meeting.
Marshaus said the girl was “shadowing” the Gem Bird mascot during a baseball game at QU Stadium, where beer is routinely sold along with other beverages and food.
“It turns out that you can’t be anywhere near alcohol if you’re under 18,” Marshaus said.
“So we pulled her immediately when we found out,” she said. “But we got fined $250.”
Rob Ebbing, executive director of the OLC and general manager of the Gems, said the girl was 15 at the time of the incident and needed a worker’s permit, which the OLC filed with the state on her behalf.
Ebbing said a question on the permit application asked whether alcohol is served in the place where the worker would be employed. The girl answered “Yes.”
“We didn’t know that that was a violation” of state labor laws, Ebbing said in an interview.
A Department of Labor official contacted the OLC and inquired if the girl had done any work. “She worked for three hours just learning the job,” Ebbing said. “So they turned around and said, ‘You’re in violation and we’re fining you.’ ”
Ebbing said the OLC typically hires college students during the summer to work part-time at Gems games. “We don’t have any high school kids,” he said.
But in this case, he said, the 15-year-old girl “wanted to be Gem Bird, and she looked like she would be good at it. So we were having her shadow Gem Bird for one day and was going to give her a tryout at it. And we found out we got ourselves in trouble for doing it.”