116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — The dough on your Casey’s pizza could be rolled by a 16- or 17-year-old worker if a new proposal is passed into state law.
The Iowa-based gasoline and convenience store company has proposed legislation that would make it legal for 16- and 17-year-old workers to operate dough rollers. That is currently prohibited by state law, even though federal regulations permit the practice.
“We’re famous for a lot of things, but one of them is our pizza,” Tom Cope, a lobbyist for Casey’s, said during a legislative hearing on the proposal Monday at the Iowa Capitol.
Casey’s began offering pizza in the mid-1980s and since has become the fifth-largest pizza seller in the country, according to the company. Cope said many other states where Casey’s has stores, including Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri, have laws that match the federal regulation that permits 16- and 17-year-olds to operate dough rollers.
Cope said the proposal could help Casey’s — and any other business that rolls its own dough on-site — address a shortage of workers.
“Like any other employer across the state of Iowa, we’re really struggling finding employees,” he said.
Concerns were raised during the hearing that the legislative proposal does not contain the federal language that states those 16- and 17-year-olds cannot set up, adjust, repair or clean pizza dough rollers — only operate them. Cope said Casey’s would be comfortable adding that language to the bill.
The three state lawmakers on the bill’s panel — two Republicans and one Democrat — said they could support the bill with that amended language. “I think with the workforce shortage we’re having, 16- and 17-year-olds do the pizza, safely of course is important,” said Sen. Dawn Driscoll, a Republican from Williamsburg.
The proposal, Senate Study Bill 3072, advanced and is now eligible for consideration by the full Senate
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