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Tennessee Cleaning Contractor Fined for Using Child Labor

May 9, 2024

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has entered into a consent order and judgment against Fayette Janitorial Service LLC (operating as Fayette Industrial).

According to the judgement, which was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, calls for the Tennessee-based company to pay US$649,304 in civil money penalties and hire a third-party to review and implement company policies to prevent the employment of children in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, Fayette Industrial must establish a program for reporting concerns about the illegal employment of children.

Earlier this year, investigations by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, found children had been hired by Fayette Industrial to clean and sanitize spaces and equipment during overnight shifts at two contracted facilities: a Perdue Farms plant in Accomac, Virginia, and Seaboard Triumph Foods LLC in Sioux City, Iowa.

DOL alleged that Fayette Industrial employed 15 children in Virginia and at least nine children in Iowa on its overnight sanitation shifts. The children in Virgina were as young as 13 years old when they were first hired. The minors were assigned to clean dangerous kill floor equipment, including head splitters, jaw pullers, meat bandsaws, and neck clippers. One 14-year-old worker was known to have suffered severe injuries while at the Virginia facility.

“The Department of Labor is determined to stop our nation’s children from being exploited and endangered in jobs they should never have been near,” said Christine Heri, DOL regional solicitor. “Children in hazardous occupations drove the Fair Labor Standards Act’s passage in 1938. Yet in 2024, we still find U.S. companies employing children in risky jobs, jeopardizing their safety for profit. We are committed to using all strategies to stop and prevent unlawful child labor an

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