US Department of Labor investigations find three South Carolina marinas violated federal child labor provisions
COLUMBIA, SC – The operators of three South Carolina marinas found themselves afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act recently after U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigations uncovered child labor and overtime violations.
The division found FLSA violations at Crazy Sister Inc., operating as Crazy Sister Marina in Murrells Inlet; Osprey Marina LLC, operating as Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach; and Whitewater Marine LLC, operating as Freedom Boat Club in Bluffton, Port Royal Marina in Port Royal, and Skull Creek Marina and Palmetto Bay Marina in Hilton Head. All three employers violated work hour standards by allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work more hours than the law permits.
In addition, Osprey Marina and Crazy Sister Marina allowed minor employees to work as deck hands, in violation of federal law that prohibits 14- and 15-year-old workers from jobs involving transporting people or property by water or other means. Osprey Marina also allowed a minor to operate a power-driven golf cart, a lawn mower and a weed eater, in violation of prohibited occupation provisions. To address the child labor violations, the department assessed civil money penalties in the amount of $1,382 to Freedom Boat Club, $4,117 to Osprey Marina and $2,571 to Crazy Sister Marina.
In addition, Freedom Boat Club and Osprey Marina paid some workers straight time for all the hours they worked, a violation of the FLSA overtime requirement that employees be paid overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Freedom Boat Club also failed to pay one worker for two weeks of emergency paid sick leave, in violation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. To resolve these issues, Freedom Boat Club paid $2,570 in back wages to six employees, while Osprey Marina paid $1,208 in back wages to five workers.
“Particularly as the school year begins, employers of 14- and 15-year-olds must know the child labor rules concerning the hours these minors can legally work. At all times, employers must ensure that minors are not employed in prohibited occupations,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jamie Benefiel in Columbia, South Carolina. “Child labor restrictions in the law are designed to ensure that young workers enjoy a safe experience on the job, and make certain employment does not interfere with education. The U.S. Department of Labor encourages employers and employees at recreational establishments to contact us if they have questions about child labor rules.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.