Florida Landscaping Material Supplier Pays $15,804 Civil Penalty After U.S. Department of Labor Discovers Child Labor Violations
ORLANDO, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Sunscape LLC – a landscaping materials supplier based in Orlando, Florida – has paid a civil money penalty of $15,804 for violating child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators determined the employer violated child labor requirements by employing two 17-year-olds and one 13-year-old employee to operate a forklift. Sunscape LLC also violated the child labor laws by employing the 13-year-old worker who was under the legal age for non-agriculture jobs, and allowing the child to work before 7 a.m., more than 8 hours per workday and more than 40 hours per workweek.
The investigation also found Sunscape LLC violated FLSA overtime requirements, for which the employer paid $7,522 in back wages to six employees. The violations included failing to include non-discretionary bonuses when calculating employees’ overtime rates. Excluding these amounts resulted in the employer paying overtime at rates lower than the law requires.
“Child labor laws exist to strike a balance between providing meaningful work experience for young people and keeping them safe on the job,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús, in Orlando, Florida. “We urge employers to review their practices to ensure that minors are not exposed to hazardous occupations and that they are in compliance with child labor laws. Employers with questions are urged to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.
For more information about child labor standards, the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.