Monogram Meat Snacks LLC, a subsidiary of Memphis, Tenn.-based Monogram Food Solutions, has paid $140,164 in civil money penalties after a U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) investigation found at least 11 children working illegally in its Chandler, Minn., processing plant. Nine of those underage workers were found operating hazardous machinery, the DOL release says.
Monogram paid the penalties Oct. 5, 2023, stemming from the investigation at the facility, which began in March 2023.
Monogram responded to the latest news, saying: “Our company has zero tolerance for ineligible underage individuals working at any of our facilities. As part of the agreement we reached with the Department of Labor relating to our Chandler, Minnesota, plant, the DOL had an additional 90 days to complete their investigation. We are disappointed to learn that in this period the DOL identified nine former employees of the Chandler plant who were employed in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. We have implemented processes and procedures over the last several years that significantly exceed federal requirements, including no longer employing anyone under the age of 18, and we believe additional enhancements we’ve made will make sure this doesn’t happen again. While this concludes the DOL’s investigation at the facility, we will continue to evaluate and strengthen our procedures.”
The company had already agreed to pay more than $30,000 in penalties in July, and to comply with child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as part of the investigation. In the subsequent completion of the investigation, the DOL determined that Monogram employed five 17-year-olds, four 16-year-olds and two 15-year-olds in violation of federal child labor laws.
“This case’s resolution makes clear the Department of Labor will not tolerate companies seeking to profit by illegally employing children,” said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda.