DETROIT – A Detroit grocery store has paid a $10,000 fine for employing several minors in violation of federal child labor laws by allowing them to operate trash compactors and tend to bottle recycling machines.
The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division reports Greenfield Market in Detroit allowed workers between the ages of 15 and 17 to operate or tend to the machinery. The employer also scheduled 15-year-olds to work after 7 p.m., more than three hours on a school day and allowed them to work more than 18 hours in a workweek, all child labor law violations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Greenfield Market failed to maintain complete records of employee birthdates, the department said.
“Employing young people provides valuable work experience, but that experience must never come at the expense of their safety or education,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Timolin Mitchell, in Detroit. “Businesses that employ minors must comply with federal laws that protect youth in the workforce.”
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes both hours and occupational standards for minor employees. Children under age 18 may not be employed in any occupation the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous. Employers must follow these rules unless a specific exemption applies.