A California delivery company was fined $139,398 after hiring 78 teen workers as young as 16-years-old as delivery drivers, which is a prohibited occupation for minors.
Organic on the Go Inc. – operating as Locale – hired dozens of teen workers as drivers, an occupation that’s prohibited under federal child labor laws, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) news release.
The DOL Wage and Hour Division found that the company put the safety and health of the teens at risk by hiring them as delivery drivers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Organic on the Go Inc. also misclassified the teen workers as independent contractors.
‘Limit on what jobs young workers can perform’
“There are limits on what jobs young workers can perform,” said Wage and Hour District Director Susana Blanco. “In most cases, child labor laws prohibit minors from driving motorized vehicles as part of their employment, and specifically when it comes to making deliveries.”
Blanco urged employers to review the YouthRules! initiative materials and Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers website for more information on an employer’s responsibilities regarding teen workers.
Since 2015, the DOL Wage and Hour Division has seen increases in child labor violations. In fiscal year 2021, the division found 2,819 minors employed in violation of the law and assessed employers nearly $3.4 million in civil money penalties.