Operator of Sheboygan Pick 'n Save stores fined $20,000

SHEBOYGAN -- The U.S. Department of Labor fined Ultra Mart Foods, the operator of two Pick 'n Save grocery stores in Sheboygan, $20,000 for allowing eight minors to load and operate scrap paper balers. That's a violation of child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In response to the investigation, Roundy’s has signed a commitment letter with the department in which it agrees to institute training on child labor requirements at all five brands of retail grocery outlets that it operates in Wisconsin.

In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, Terri Walls, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Minneapolis District Office said in relation to the fine, “A paper baler is a dangerous piece of equipment capable of causing serious injury, and minors should not be put at risk loading, operating or unloading such machinery. This situation is particularly disappointing, as Pick ‘n Save previously was cited for the same violation."

The FLSA establishes a minimum age of 18 for workers in those nonagricultural occupations that the secretary of labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for 16- and 17-year-old workers, or detrimental to their health or well-being. Pick ‘n Save was cited for violations of Hazardous Occupations Order No. 12, which generally prohibits workers under 18 from operating, loading or unloading paper balers or trash compactors.

A listing of hazardous occupations prohibited for minors is available on the Wage and Hour Division’s website at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/docs/haznonag.asp. Additional information on child labor rules can be found at http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/index.htm.