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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Employment Standards Administration

ESA Press Release: Youth Opportunities of America, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, Ordered to Pay $8,825 Fine For Child Labor Violations [02/26/1998]

For more information call: (312) 353-6976

Youth Opportunities of America, Inc., a Cincinnati company that transported children as young as 11 years old into Kentucky by van to peddle candy and novelties door-to-door, has been fined for violating federal child labor laws.

Chief Administrative Law Judge John M. Vittone of the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Youth Opportunities of America, Inc., of Cincinnati, and its president, Richard Siegel, to pay a civil money penalty of $8,825 for violating child labor provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

"Children are this country's most important asset. We must not allow them to be exploited by employers or to be made vulnerable in the workplace," said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. "Selling door-to-door is fraught with danger, especially for children late at night. The public needs to be aware that purchasing from underage children selling door-to-door encourages employers to continue this violative practice."

The Labor Department's investigation found that the company illegally employed nine minors, ages 11 through 14. Six of the children, ages 11 and 13, were under the legal age of 14 for employment in non-farm occupations.

Five worked more hours or later hours than permitted by Federal law. Children were selling candy as late as 10:30 p.m. and as many as eight hours per day. Three minors, age 14, also worked during prohibited hours for as many as 40 hours per week.

The Labor Department also alleged that company records for five children did not include their dates of birth, as required by federal law for all employees under 19 years of age.

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division enforces federal child labor laws. The regulations detail hours that minors under 16 may work and specify hazardous occupations prohibited for minors under the age of 18.

Under federal law, 14 and 15-year-olds may work outside school hours, but not later than 7:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. from June 1 until Labor Day). In addition, they may not work more than three hours on school days nor more than 18 hours in a school week. These minors may work up to eight hours on non-school days, or 40 hours during non-school weeks.

Case No. 97-CLA-15

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
February 26, 1998
Media Contact: David Roberts
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