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Department of Labor sued three Alabama businesses for child labor fraud

A big wrench and a little wrench displayed on a car factory floor

The Department of Labor (DOL) has investigated three Alabama businesses for fraudulent employee recruitment and benefits from child labor breaches.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama charged Hyundai and the recruitment agency, Best Practice Service, with benefiting from child labor.

Hyundai in child labor suit

The shocking filing by the DOL was put in place to crack down in “federal court to prevent three Alabama companies, including a Hyundai U.S. assembly and manufacturing plant, from employing children illegally.”

In Luverne, Alabama, the DOL Wages and Hour division uncovered a heart-wrenching case. A 13-year-old was found to be working a grueling 50/60 hour week shift at a Hyundai assembly line, a clear violation of labor laws.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama LLC, SMART Alabama LLC, and Best Practice Service, LLC are the three companies in question.

Wage and Hour Division Administrator Jessica Looman said, “A 13-year-old working on an assembly line in the United States of America shocks the conscience. As we work to stop illegal child labor where we find it, we also continue to ensure that all employers are held accountable for violating the law.”

The complaint by the DLO is hunting on multiple fronts to find out the profits made by these companies in relation to child labor and stop the illegal employment of children.

“The Department of Labor’s complaint seeks to hold all three employers accountable in the supply chain,” said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda. “Companies cannot escape liability by blaming suppliers or staffing companies for child labor violations when they are in fact also employers themselves.”

In March Tuff Torq Corp, a Tennessee-based manufacturer was scolded by the DOL for employing a minor. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said the “consent decree holds Tuff Torq accountable while also discouraging future violations, focusing on the supply chain, and striving to make the victims whole. This agreement puts in practice what we have long been saying. The department will not tolerate companies profiting on the backs of children employed unlawfully in dangerous occupations.”

The Wage and Hour Division has investigated a stunning 955 cases that involved the illegal profits and benefits off the back of child labor violations, involving 5,792 children nationwide.

Image: Ideogram.

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