Kroger Fined for Child Labor Violations

A supermarket allowed minors to engage in hazardous work and exceed hours standards.

I Stock 1305390465

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — A Kroger supermarket allowed minors to engage in hazardous work and exceed hours standards, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation in Mississippi found.

Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division found that the location allowed three minor-aged workers, 16- and 17-year-olds, to load a trash compactor with the keys in the machine to allow operation. The employer also allowed a 15-year-old employee to work more than three hours on a school day and more than 18 hours during a school week — all violations of the federal child labor standards.

The agency assessed a $13,673 civil penalty to address the child labor violations.

“Child labor laws are intended to ensure young workers obtain valuable work experience safely without interfering with their safety and education,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “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.”

The Kroger Co. Inc. is one of the nation’s largest retailers, operating more than 2,700 multi-department supermarkets in 35 states and the District of Columbia. It also has 45 distribution centers in the U.S. and employs nearly 500,000 workers.

More in Labor