Eight grocery stores in Nebraska are being accused of violating federal child labor laws.
Scott Allen, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor, says the list includes two Hy-Vee stores in eastern Nebraska, in addition to a half-dozen individual supermarkets across the Husker State.
Allen explains the allegations against the stores: “They’re allowing the youth ages 14 to 17 to do basically hazardous jobs that are not allowed for any teenager to do.”
The investigation involved fines at the eight stores in Nebraska, in addition to 20 stores in Iowa. The stores have agreed to pay the fines, which totaled nearly $130,000.
As part of the investigation, seminars are being conducted to teach managers and staff about child labor requirements and how to make sure they stay in compliance with the law.
“There are 17 occupational hazards that youth are just not allowed to be doing,” Allen says. “Working with trash compactors and meat slicers and things like that, it’s simply not allowed by OSHA regulations and standards.”
Allen says the fines are falling on two Hy-Vee stores in Omaha, in addition to: Scotty’s Ranchland Foods in Valentine, Heartland Foods in Beatrice, Grocery Kart in Ord, Sonny’s Super Foods in Bridgeport, Central Market in Tecumseh and Larry’s Market in Shelton.