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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-1461-PHI (wh 12-091)


July 23, 2012


Leni Fortson or Joanna Hawkins


215-861-5102 or 215-861-5102

MJ Recycling in Willow Hill, Pa., to pay penalty for child labor violations following US Labor Department investigation

Minor seriously injured while performing prohibited job

WILLOW HILL, Pa. -- Under the terms of a consent judgment reached between the U.S. Department of Labor and Harry L. Jarrett, doing business as MJ Recycling, the company will pay a $15,000 civil money penalty to resolve child labor violations found during an investigation conducted by the department's Wage and Hour Division. Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen L. Purcell at the Labor Department has signed an order approving the settlement.

Investigators found that the company violated the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by permitting a minor to assist with the operation of a metal punching and shearing machine, which resulted in the loss of several of the youth's fingertips.

"It is against the law to put the health and well-being of minors at risk by requiring them to perform prohibited hazardous jobs," said Alfonso J. Gristina, director of the division's Wilkes Barre District Office. "Violations of child labor laws will not be tolerated, and employers who commit them will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This order underscores the fact that the department will continue to use all enforcement tools available, including the assessment of civil money penalties, to achieve compliance with these regulations and ensure the safety of our working youth."

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. These rules must be followed unless a specific exemption applies. More information on child labor rules can be found at and information about hazardous occupations orders is available at

The investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division's Wilkes Barre office, which can be reached at 570-826-6316. For more information on the FLSA and other federal laws administered by the division, call its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit its website at


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