LANCASTER, KY. — A meat processing plant in Lancaster, Ky., was cited for endangering minors by exposing them to hazardous tasks and violating child labor laws, according to the US Department of Labor.
Marksbury Farm Foods LLC employed eight minors — seven workers in the slaughterhouse operations and one to clean the facility’s floors. DOL’s investigation found that two of the employees were under the age of 16. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), companies are restricted from employing workers under 18 to do most jobs in meat and poultry plants.
Marksbury violated several FLSA regulations by allowing a 15-year-old employee to work past 7 p.m. on dates outside of June 1 and Labor Day, more than eight hours on a non-school day, more than 18 hours during a school week and before 7 a.m. on a school day.
Through its investigation, DOL discovered Marksbury paid one employee an incorrect overtime rate after failing to update the worker’s regular rate of pay after they received a raise, which resulted in an overtime rate less than required. The division recovered $53 for this worker.
DOL issued Marksbury an $8,893 civil money penalty for its child labor violations.
“Federal labor laws protect children from being put at risk in truly dangerous work conditions,” said Karen Garnett-Civils, wage and hour division district director. “They exist to make sure the work young people do does not jeopardize their health or well-being or interfere with their educational opportunities. The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring minors, parents and employers are aware of the child labor rules in order to prevent life-threatening injuries and potential death.”