SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WREG) — Grocery chain Kroger in Southaven, Mississippi is facing over $13,000 in fines for hazardous conditions and child labor violations.
The Department of Labor said they allowed two minor workers to work in hazardous conditions and another worked more than the allowed time by law. The grocery store is facing a total of $13,673 in penalties.
The 16 and 17 year-old employees were allowed to load a trash compactor with the keys in the machine to allow its operation, according to the report.
The 15-year-old in question worked more than three hours on a school day and more than 18 hours during a school week.
Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi said:
“Child labor laws are intended to ensure young workers obtain valuable work experience safely without interfering with their safety and education. Employers who hire minors must know the regulations that govern this practice. As the end of the school year fast approaches, employers should review child labor laws and contact the Wage and Hour Division if they have questions.”
Kroger said in a statement:
“At Kroger, the safety of our associates and customers is our top priority. This was an isolated incident at one location and once we were made aware of the error, we took immediate action. We have paid the fine and reaffirmed our processes and standards to make sure this does not occur again in the future.“