Labor Department says sanitation company fined $1.5m for illegally employing children

Wisconsin company allegedly put “more than 100 children” to work.
The U.S. Department of Labor building

The U.S. Department of Labor this week announced that a Wisconsin-based sanitation company had paid out well over a million dollars in fines for illegally employing children across multiple states.

The DOL said in a Friday release that Kieler, Wisc.-based Packers Sanitation Services employed “at least 102 children – from 13 to 17 years of age – in hazardous occupations and had them working overnight shifts at 13 meat processing facilities in eight states.”

The department’s Wage and Hour Division “found that children were working with hazardous chemicals and cleaning meat processing equipment including  back saws, brisket saws and head splitters,” the news release said. 

“Investigators learned at least three minors suffered injuries while working for PSSI,” it added. 

“These children should never have been employed in meat packing plants,” investigator Jessica Looman said in the release, “and this can only happen when employers do not take responsibility to prevent child labor violations from occurring in the first place.”