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August 20, 2003
Labor Department Finds Minors Working in Hazardous Jobs
A Houston sheet metal fabricator and manufacturer has paid $16,500 in penalties after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found six underage children were employed in violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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"The safety of our young people, as they begin to enter the workforce, is of paramount importance to the Department of Labor. Our Wage and Hour investigators pursue violators aggressively," says Betty Campbell, Wage & Hour district director in Houston. "In this case, the six minors were assisting in hoist operations, metal punching machines and circular saws, all of which are considered hazardous occupations."

Investigators say that Campo Sheet Metal Works Inc. employed six minors, ranging from 14 to 17 years of age, in hazardous occupations. The company also employed one 14 year old in excess of eight hours a day and in an area where goods were being manufactured.

FLSA stipulates 17 hazardous occupations for minors under the age of 18 including driving and serving as outside helper on a motor vehicle, mining, the use of a power-driven hoisting apparatus, including forklifts, power-driven meat processing equipment, meat slicers, power-driven bakery and paper-products machines and roofing and excavation operations.

Under FLSA, 14 years is the minimum age for employment in nonagricultural work. Employees 14 and 15 years of age can work outside of school hours, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (up to 9 p.m. in the summer), no more than three hours per day on school days or eight hours on non-school days, and no more than 18 hours in a school week or 40 hours in a non-school week. Additionally, employees 14 and 15 years of age cannot work in certain jobs, including manufacturing, construction and transportation. Nor can they perform any duties in workrooms or workplaces where goods are being manufactured, mined or processed. More information on the department's YouthRules! website can be found at www.youthrules.dol.gov.

Campo Sheet Metal Works has agreed to comply with all child labor provisions in the future and has paid the penalties in full.

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