Slaughterhouse Cleaning Company Gets Slap on the Wrist for Hiring Illegal Child Labor

Studio Romantic /
Studio Romantic /

Hiring kids to earn a paycheck is frowned upon in many sectors of the economy. It helped bring America into the industrial age, kept the coal rolling out of the mines, and built generations of the hardest Americans ever produced. Yet it also stripped these children of their opportunity for higher learning, their childhood, and ultimately their health. Now, we have regulations on places where kids are allowed to work.

The United States Department of Labor’s investigation into Fayette Janitorial Service after a whistleblower spoke up on the company discovered at least 24 children working for them. With some as young as 13, they were split up across two facilities to handle the overnight cleaning services and used some very caustic chemicals. Federal labor laws ban the use of child labor in many slaughterhouse positions, including the operating or cleaning of the machinery.

As a result of the investigation, Fayette will be paying a $649,000 fine and is being forced to hire a third party to monitor them for compliance and establish a way for kids to self-report.

In a statement to CNN, Fayette wrote, “The realization that the use of fraudulent identification documents had allowed individuals under the age of 18 to circumvent our policies and procedures required immediate action.” Further, they claim that since being caught they have made “substantial investments in proprietary systems and technologies has closed the gap that allowed this situation to arise. Our goal remains to ensure a safe and compliant work environment for all of our employees.”

Given how blatantly wrong they were to have kids cleaning equipment on the kill floor in the first place, it seems rather likely that they will be having problems again sooner rather than later.