A Texas landscape supply company is in trouble with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) after a teen worker suffered serious injuries in a June 2021 forklift incident.
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found that New Age Rocks Inc. allowed the 17-year-old to operate the forklift in violation of federal child labor laws under the Fair Labors Standard Act (FLSA).
The teen worker was also allowed to operate a skid steer loader.
These violations led to $34,355 in fines for the company.
“New Age Rocks Inc. disregarded the law and a 17-year-old employee suffered injuries needlessly while doing work the law forbids them from doing,” said Wage and Hour District Director Nicole Sellers.
The employer cooperated fully with investigators, changed its practices to comply with the law and paid the $34,355 in civil money penalties.
In 2022, the Wage and Hour Division found more than 3,800 minors employed in violation of child labor laws, an increase of 37% over the previous year. Minors employed in hazardous activities in violation of the FLSA were up 26% in the same period, with a total of 688 minors found to be working in hazardous occupations.