A warehouse and distribution center in Kentucky has been ordered to stop illegally employing children.
The Department of Labor said it sought the order after an investigation revealed Win.IT America Inc. had employed two children, ages 11 and 13, for months.
One of the children reportedly operated a forklift on the job, a task that is prohibited for people under the age of 18.
The Department of Labor said the other child would pick orders in the warehouse, which is a prohibited occupation for workers under 16.
“Businesses must comply with the federal child labor regulations,” explained DOL Regional Solicitor Tremelle Howard. “Federal law ensures young workers can benefit by gaining valuable work experience without endangering their safety or hampering their education.”
Win.IT America Inc. was fined more than $30,000 and ordered to hire a third-party consultant to provide compliance training for management personnel, the Department of Labor said.
Child labor violations in the U.S. are on the rise. The DOL reports that it documented violations involving nearly 4,000 children for the 2022 fiscal year, a 60% increase over the past five years.
“When we find child labor violations, the Department of Labor will not hesitate to use all enforcement tools available to compel compliance, including stopping the shipment of goods created and produced while the business was breaking the law to do so,” Howard stated.
Child labor laws can vary by state. The Department of Labor website provides information on what type of work is prohibited for children under 18.
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