TEACHEY, NC (WWAY) -– The US Department of Labor has fined a Duplin County poultry processor $12,400 for a child labor violation.
The Department of Labor says an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division of House of Raeford Farms Inc. found minors performing hazardous duties prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions.
"Employers who hire young workers must comply with all federal and state regulations intended to keep our youth safe on the job," said Richard Blaylock, director of the division's Raleigh District Office, in a news release. "This situation is particularly disappointing because the company previously was cited for the same type of violation. It is critical for employers to learn about and comply with the child labor provisions of America's labor laws."
Investigators found two minors, ages 16 and 17, were employed in the company's deboning department, where they were required to operate an electric knife in violation of the FLSA's Hazardous Occupation Order No. 10, which prohibits workers under the age of 18 from operating or cleaning powered meat processing equipment, including meat slicers.
In addition to paying the civil money penalties, the company has agreed to maintain future compliance with the FLSA's child labor provisions.
The Department of Labor says the FLSA establishes a minimum age of 18 for workers in those nonagricultural occupations that the Secretary of Labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old workers or detrimental to their health or well-being.