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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-79-CHI

Date: 

Jan. 31, 2012

Contact: 

Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

Phone: 

(312) 353-6976 or 312-353-6976

US Department of Labor fines Pick 'n Save in Sheboygan, Wis., $20,000 for allowing minors to operate paper balers in violation of child labor laws


Parent company agrees to institute training program after investigation

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Ultra Mart Foods, the operator of two Pick 'n Save grocery stores in Sheboygan, has agreed to pay $20,000 in civil money penalties for allowing eight minors to load and operate scrap paper balers in violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The penalties were assessed following an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division of stores located at 1317 N. 25th St. and 2213 Calumet Drive. The division cited Pick 'n Save for the same violation at a store in Madison in 2009.

Ultra Mart Foods is a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. In response to the investigation, Roundy's has signed a commitment letter with the department in which it agrees to institute training on child labor requirements at all five brands of retail grocery outlets that it operates in Wisconsin, the Twin Cities and the Greater Chicago area. There are more than 200 locations of Pick 'n Save, Copps, Rainbow, Metro Market and Mariano's Fresh Market stores. Roundy's will provide training on child labor restrictions to managers and every minor that it hires. The company also will require all minor employees, their parents and their managers to sign off on having read child labor materials provided by the Wage and Hour Division. Additionally, Roundy's has agreed to lock all scrap paper balers when not in use and to ensure that the keys to those machines are not accessible to employees younger than 18.

"Employers who hire young workers must comply with all federal and state regulations intended to keep our children safe on the job," said Terri Walls, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Minneapolis District Office. "A paper baler is a dangerous piece of equipment capable of causing serious injury, and minors should not be put at risk loading, operating or unloading such machinery. This situation is particularly disappointing, as Pick 'n Save previously was cited for the same violation. The penalties assessed illustrate that the Labor Department will use every available enforcement tool to ensure the safety of our working youth. But we are pleased that Roundy's Supermarkets is taking steps to comply with child labor laws at all of its locations."

The FLSA establishes a minimum age of 18 for workers in those nonagricultural occupations that the secretary of labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old workers, or detrimental to their health or well-being. Pick 'n Save was cited for violations of Hazardous Occupations Order No. 12, which generally prohibits workers under 18 from operating, loading or unloading paper balers or trash compactors. A listing of hazardous occupations prohibited for minors is available on the Wage and Hour Division's website at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/docs/haznonag.asp. Additional information on child labor rules can be found at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm.

For more information on laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, call its Milwaukee Area Office at 414-297-1590 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.