A 17 year old youth is not a bloody child in my day we left school at 14 and went to work at the slaughterhouse.
Singer Tom Jones got married at 16 and was working in a factory.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced it has fined chicken processor House of Raeford Farms $12,400 for violating child labor laws at its Teachey, N.C. plant.
Investigators found 17-year-old workers required to use an electric knife in the company's deboning department.
Federal labor law prohibits workers younger than 18 from operating or cleaning powered meat processing equipment.
"Employers who hire young workers must comply with all federal and state regulations intended to keep our youth safe on the job," Richard Blaylock, director of the division's Raleigh district office, was quoted as saying in local media reports.
"This situation is particularly disappointing because the company previously was cited for the same type of violation.
It is critical for employers to learn about and comply with the child labor provisions of America's labor laws."
House of Raeford has processing plants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana.
In addition to the fine, House of Raeford has agreed to comply with all child labor laws in the future.
"Due to an unfortunate administrative error in 2011, the company hired two individuals who were both 17 years of age and placed them in positions that were not appropriate for their age," according to a company statement.
"The company was very cooperative with the Department of Labor in this matter and has put new policies and procedures in place to avoid this oversight in the future.
In addition our corporate compliance officer regularly reviews an active employee list to verify all employment requirements as well as provides continuing education to our human resources employees.
House of Raeford is committed to maintaining complete compliance with all state and federal regulations."
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