(TheRedWire.com) – According to the Labor Department, a poultry processor in Los Angeles had hired children as young as 14 to work in their operations.
Exclusive Poultry, a Los Angeles-based poultry processor, has two locations where they sell chickens to large grocery chains, including Ralphs Grocery Co. and Aldi. However, according to court documents, when investigators showed up at the location to ask questions, they found that the company had been employing children as young as 14 for their deboning operations. These children were using sharp knives as part of their tasks, and when investigators entered the premises, they were instructed to hide in closers.
On Monday, the consent decree in this case was released, which included the company’s agreement to pay over $3.8 million in back wages and damages. The company must also pay a $200,000 civil penalty fee for having hired children in their operations.
Tony Bran, the owner of the poultry processor, had, according to Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division administrator Jessica Looman, willfully withheld the hard-earned wages of those employed in his company, had endangered young workers, and had retaliated against the company’s employees. She pointed out that their division was focused on stopping and preventing the exploitation of workers, including children, in every industry.
Anthony McClaren, who represents the company, noted that these were only allegations and that the case was just beginning; he added that they would be performing their discovery to determine the truthfulness of the allegations.
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