Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Blueberry enterprise in Judsonia, Ark., assessed $8,000 in civil money penalties for child labor violations following US Labor Department investigation
Back wages recovered for agricultural workers
JUDSONIA, Ark. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has assessed $8,000 in civil money penalties against Double Springs Grass Farm in Judsonia after an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found child labor and minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department also has recovered $1,160 in back wages for four agricultural workers.
"The laws and regulations for vulnerable young workers are very specific, and employers in violation will be penalized," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. "Assessing penalties is one element of the Wage and Hour Division's comprehensive approach to ensuring the welfare of young workers."
The investigation by the division's Little Rock District Office found that a 10-year-old was hired to pick blueberries at the Double Springs Grass Farm, in violation of the FLSA's child labor provisions. Investigators also found that four agricultural workers were not properly paid for all hours worked. The employer has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future.
Under the FLSA, children ages 12 and 13 may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs on farms that also employ their parent(s) or with written parental consent. Children under 12 may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous work, but only with parental consent and on small farms where none of the employees are subject to the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA. Children of any age may work at any time in any job on a farm owned by their parents.
The FLSA also requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.
For more information about child labor regulations, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Little Rock District Office at 501-223-9114. Information also is available online at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov.
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