Company fined $1.5 million for hiring kids at meat plants in Nebraska, 7 other states
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — One of the nation’s largest sanitation service providers was fined after it hired children to clean meatpacking plants in the Midwest.
The U.S. Department of Labor says Packers Sanitation Services Inc. paid $1,544,076 in penalties on Thursday.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigated the provider and found that it had employed at least 102 children between the ages of 13 and 17.
These children worked in hazardous conditions across 13 meat processing plants in eight states, including Nebraska, the investigation found.
Duties included cleaning backsaws, brisket saws and head splitters and using hazardous chemicals. The department says at least three children were hurt while at work.
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In Grand Island, 27 children were employed to clean the JBS Foods facility. Five children worked at Greater Omaha Packing Co., and one worked at Gibbon Packing Co.
Packers Sanitation Services was fined $408,726, $75,690 and $15,138 for those violations.
“The Department of Labor has made it absolutely clear that violations of child labor laws will not be tolerated,” Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said. “No child should ever be subject to the conditions found in this investigation. The courts have upheld the department’s rightful authority to execute federal court-approved search warrants and compelled this employer to change their hiring practices to ensure compliance with the law. Let this case be a powerful reminder that all workers in the United States are entitled to the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act and that an employer who violates wage laws will be held accountable.”