A teen worker was injured when he became entangled in the gears of a powered wood processing machine at an Ohio lathe mill, leading to a child labor law fine of more than $22,000.
Walnut Creek Lumber employed the 15-year-old worker as a sawmill operator, which is a violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Investigators with the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division also found that the company employed four minors under age 16 outside the hours allowed by the FLSA. These teen workers were employed to move and stack wood pieces for processing.
These violations led to a fine of $22,093.
“No child should ever be exposed to dangerous workplace machinery,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Matthew Utley. “Employers must verify that the minors they employ are working in compliance with child labor provisions for hours worked and duties assigned.”
Teens 16-19 make up 11% of workforce
In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that workers aged 16 to 19 years old made up nearly 11% of the nation’s workforce, according to the DOL.
From fiscal years 2017 to 2021, the DOL identified child labor violations in more than 4,000 cases, finding more than 13,000 minor-aged workers employed in violation.