An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor following the injury of a 17-year-old worker found that WL Plastics Manufacturing LLC violated child labor laws. The plastic pipe manufacturer allowed the minor to operate a forklift even though its illegal for workers under 18 to operate hazardous equipment. The investigation also determined that the company was violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by not including safety bonuses when calculating workers’ overtime. WL Plastics Manufacturing was fined $6,399 for child labor violations and had to pay $10,361 in back wages and liquidated damages to 60 employees who were not paid proper overtime.
In a recent quote, Wage and Hour Division District Director John DuMont said, “Minors should never be employed to do unsafe work. It is the employer’s responsibility to not only protect young people from being hurt in the workplace, but to also ensure all employees are paid fairly. The Wage and Hour Division will hold employers accountable when they fail to comply with federal law.”