Company Agrees To Pay About $650,000 Over Child Labor Violations

Company Agrees To Pay About $650,000 Over Child Labor Violations

( – A sanitation company based in Tennessee, Fayette Janitorial Service LLC, has agreed to settle for approximately $650,000 following an investigation by federal authorities. The probe revealed that the company unlawfully employed at least two dozen minors to perform cleaning tasks in hazardous meat processing plants located in Iowa and Virginia. This settlement includes a court order that prohibits the company from hiring minors in the future.

The announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor came on Monday, May 6, detailing that the violations were ongoing, with minors found working as recently as December of the previous year at an Iowa slaughterhouse. It is illegal under U.S. labor laws for individuals under 18 to work in meat processing facilities due to the dangerous nature of the work.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Fayette Janitorial employed 15 minors at a Perdue Farms location in Virginia and at least nine at a Seaboard Triumph Foods facility in Iowa. These young workers were assigned to clean machinery including head splitters and meat bandsaws, which pose significant safety risks.

The case involves a severe incident involving a 14-year-old who was seriously injured while cleaning a conveyor belt in Virginia. As a result of the investigation’s findings, both Perdue Farms and Seaboard Triumph Foods have since terminated their contracts with Fayette Janitorial.

As part of the agreement, Fayette will also engage a third-party consultant to ensure compliance with child labor laws and to implement training programs over the next three years. The company will set up a hotline for reporting any instances of child labor.

A Fayette spokesperson revealed that the company is fully cooperating with the federal investigation and maintains a strict policy against the employment of minors.

This case adds to a troubling rise in child labor violations across the country, highlighted by recent fatal incidents involving minors in other states and significant penalties levied against other companies for similar violations. The Department of Labor has reported an 88% increase in illegal employment of children since 2019, signaling a critical need for enforcement and awareness of labor laws protecting minors.

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