DOL Seeks Injunction Against Fayette Janitorial Service Over Child Labor Violations

DOL Seeks Injunction Against Fayette Janitorial Service Over Child Labor Violations

The Tennessee-based company allegedly employed more than 24 minors to perform hazardous tasks.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken legal action against Fayette Janitorial Service LLC—a Tennessee-based industrial cleaning service—for employing minors in hazardous conditions at meat processing facilities. This move underscores a continuing concern over child labor violations, particularly in industries unsafe for young workers.

According to a release dated Feb. 21, federal investigators uncovered instances where children as young as 13 were tasked with cleaning and sanitizing dangerous equipment at meat processing plants in Iowa and Virginia. The DOL asked a federal court for a nationwide temporary restraining order and injunction against Fayette Janitorial Service (operating as Fayette Industrial), aiming to halt its employment of minors while investigations continue.

The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits the employment of workers under 18 in high-risk occupations, including those in the meat and poultry sector. Despite these regulations, Fayette Janitorial Service—which has over 600 employees across roughly 30 states—allegedly employed at least 24 minors across two states, exposing them to hazardous work environments.

“The employment of children in hazardous occupations is an egregious violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act that should never occur,” Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said in a statement. “The Department of Labor continues to use every available legal resource to protect workers and end child labor violations. We are working diligently with other federal agencies to combat child labor exploitation nationwide.”

The DOL's actions reflect a broader federal effort to combat child labor exploitation, highlighted by the establishment of an Interagency Task Force. In the last fiscal year, the department identified 955 child labor violations, resulting in over $8 million in penalties. Fayette Janitorial Service remains under ongoing investigation.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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