A Kentucky meat processing plant is in trouble with the federal government after an investigation revealed the company allowed eight teen workers to perform hazardous jobs.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division found that Marksbury Farm Foods LLC employed seven teen workers in slaughterhouse operations and an eighth worker to clean its floor. These are violations of the federal child labor laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Two of the teen workers were under the age of 16.
FLSA standards forbid workers under the age of 18 from doing most jobs in meat and poultry slaughtering, processing and packing establishments.
The investigation also revealed that Marksbury Farm Foods allowed a 15-year-old worker to work:
- past 7 p.m. on dates not between June 1 and Labor Day
- more than eight hours on a non-school day
- more than 18 hours during a school week, and
- before 7 a.m. on a school day.
These are all FLSA child labor hours and time violations.
The Wage and Hour Division issued an $8,893 fine to the company for the violations.
“Federal labor laws protect children from being put at risk in truly dangerous work conditions,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett-Civils. “They exist to make sure the work young people do does not jeopardize their health or well-being or interfere with their educational opportunities.”