Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
US Department of Labor assesses civil money penalties to Marble Slab Creamery in Austin, Texas, for child labor violations
AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a petition with the Office of Administrative Law Judges seeking civil money penalties from Smita Inc., doing business as Marble Slab Creamery in Austin, and Kirit Patel, the company’s director and secretary. The legal action follows an investigation conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that revealed violations of the child labor regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that young workers have safe early work experiences,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The penalties imposed demonstrate that all available enforcement tools will be used to hold violators accountable for endangering or exploiting employees.”
An investigation conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s San Antonio District Office found that four Marble Slab employees ages 16 and 17 were required to assemble, operate, disassemble and clean a vertical dough mixer used for making waffle cones at the company’s ice cream store.
Key provisions of the FLSA prohibit the employment of individuals under age 18 in hazardous nonagricultural occupations. Hazardous Occupation Order No. 11 specifically prohibits workers under the age of 18 from operating dough mixers. The Wage and Hour Division assessed a civil money penalty of $1,320 for each of the four minor employees who worked with the dough mixer, totaling $5,280 in penalties.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), or the division’s San Antonio office at 210-308-4515. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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