July 10, 2023
Monogram Meat Snacks, Chandler, MN, was found to be in violation of federal child labor law by a Labor Department investigation, which found at least two teenagers — one 16 years old and the other 17 — operating meat-processing equipment.
The Department of Labor (DOL) investigation opened on March 28, and soon after the agency asked Monogram to stop shipping goods produced by child labor. Monogram agreed to the request on April 24.
The company is a subsidiary of Monogram Foods, a manufacturer of meat and meat snack products out of Memphis, TN.
On July 6, 2023, the US District Court of Minnesota entered a consent order and judgment, in which Monogram Food Solutions agreed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor provisions at all of its production facilities and warehouses nationwide and ensure future compliance with child labor laws, including hiring a third-party compliance specialist within 90 days to monitor compliance with child labor provisions at the Chandler facility for 3 years and at Monogram’s other facilities for 2 years, the DOL stated.
The employer also agreed to pay $30,276 in civil money penalties for the child labor violations in Chandler.
Other conditions the meat processing company has to follow are:
Using the division’s Youth Employment Compliance Assistance Toolkit to identify materials for use in training employees, provided in a language understood by workers; and maintaining training logs.
Auditing machinery at all facilities and affixing special stickers to machines that workers under age 18 cannot operate legally.
Establishing a toll-free number for employees to seek guidance and report compliance issues with the FLSA child labor provisions anonymously.
Notifying the Wage and Hour Division immediately of child labor violations found and cure such violations within 10 business days.
Submitting an initial report to the division, within 180 days, outlining steps taken to comply with the requirements of the consent order and judgment, and provide annual reports.
Notifying the department, for 180 days following execution of the order and judgment, of each employee employed at the Chandler facility whose employment ended, either voluntarily or involuntarily, after March 29, 2023.
The DOL lifted its objection to shipment immediately after the order and judgment was executed and Monogram Food Solutions paid the civil money penalties.
In addition to its Chandler location, Monogram operates and employs workers in meat-packing establishments in Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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