DOL seeks to interview employees at poultry plant following the death of a 16-year-old worker

Sept. 14, 2023
The Mar-Jac Poultry MS LLC facility currently has open workplace safety and child labor investigations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division are currently investigating the death of a 16-year-old worker at a poultry plant in Mississippi. The Mar-Jac Poultry MS LLC facility currently has open workplace safety and child labor investigations, and department workers have obtained a warrant allowing them to “question any employer, operator, agent or employee privately and to review records related to the operation and maintenance of the equipment involved in the incident.” OSHA has been working with community groups and advocacy groups like Immigrant Alliance for Justice & Equity of Mississippi to establish trust with plant employees and immigrant workers who are fearful of retaliation.

In a recent quote, OSHA Area Director Courtney Bohannon said, "As federal investigators continue to try to understand how a 16-year-old died at the Mar-Jac Poultry plant in Hattiesburg, we are asking current Mar-Jac employees for their assistance. Federal law protects the rights of workers to participate in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation and forbids employers from interfering in any way, including by retaliating against an employee who does. With help from Mar-Jac's workers, we can make sure the employer provides a safer environment for everyone who works there."

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