Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
WEST COVINA, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has ordered Super Center Concepts, doing business as Superior Super Warehouse, to pay $79,200 in penalties for violating child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Labor Department investigators found that the 32-store supermarket chain allowed minors to operate scrap paper balers, paper box compactors and power-driven hoisting apparatuses or forklifts. A total of 40 hazardous occupational violations were identified as occurring at the stores between March 2007 and March 2009. The employer has contested the civil money penalty assessment.
“Young workers can benefit from good work experiences, but they must work in a safe environment and not be involved in hazardous duties,” said George Friday, western regional administrator of the Wage and Division.
The stores identified as having violations are located in Chino, Compton, Corona, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynnwood, Montebello, North Hollywood, Ontario, Pacoima and Santa Ana, Calif.
The FLSA prohibits workers under the age of 18 from being employed in any nonagricultural occupations that the Labor Department has declared to be hazardous. Hazardous Occupations Order Number 12 prohibits individuals under age 18 from loading, operating and unloading certain power-driven paper processing machines, including scrap paper balers, paper box compactors, guillotine paper cutters or shears, platen printing presses and envelope die-cutting presses. The prohibitions concerning balers and compactors extend to equipment that processes other materials in addition to paper, such as trash, foam rubber, metal, food waste, plastic and fabric.
The investigation is part of the Wage and Hour Division’s ongoing child labor outreach initiative to ensure that workers under age 18 have safe and rewarding work experiences. It was conducted by staff from the agency’s East Los Angeles District Office.
For more information about the FLSA, youth employment, the jobs younger workers may perform and the hours they may work, call the division’s East Los Angeles office at 626-966-0478 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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