Labor Department Fines Manufacturer For Illegal Alien Child Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has imposed massive fines on a Tennessee manufacturer that was illegally “employing children to operate dangerous machinery” and “requiring them to work more hours than the law allows,” according to a Monday press release.

The Tuff Torq factory in Morristown, Tennessee, was employing 10 illegal alien children for “oppressive child labor,” according to the Labor Department’s investigation. The company produces outdoor power equipment for numerous companies, including John Deere and Yamaha.

The children employed at the Tuff Torq facility were as young as 14 years old, NBC News reported.

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division explained in the press release that these illegal alien children had worked “dangerous” positions at the factory.

“Division investigators began its probe months ago but obtained clear evidence of the unlawful conduct on Jan. 23, 2024, when they returned to the Tuff Torq facility and observed a child operating a power-driven hoisting apparatus, an occupation prohibited for workers under the age of 18,” the press release stated. “As a result, the department objected to the shipment of goods from the Morristown facility, citing the Fair Labor Standards Act’s ‘hot goods’ provision, which prevents employers from shipping goods produced by oppressive child labor.”

The Labor Department has ordered Tuff Torq to pay a $296,951 civil penalty, as well as “set aside $1.5 million as disgorgement of 30 days’ profits related to its use of child labor.”
“The proceeds paid by Tuff Torq will be used for the benefit of the children employed illegally,” the department added.

Tuff Torq has also agreed to provide staff training on the issue, establish a child labor tip line, allow “unannounced and warrantless searches” for three years and avoid using any staffing agency that has a history of child labor violations.

“Even one child working in a dangerous environment is too many,” Jessica Looman, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division administrator, declared.

“Over the past year, we have seen an alarming increase in child labor violations, and these violations put children in harm’s way. With this agreement, we are ensuring Tuff Torq takes immediate and significant steps to stop the illegal employment of children. When employers fail to meet their obligations, we will act swiftly to hold them accountable and protect children,” she added.

Tuff Torq legal representative Ryan Pott claimed that the minors illegally working at the facility were temporary hires that the manufacturer did not directly employ, with the company asserting that the children had provided falsified identification to a third-party staffing agency.

Pott confirmed that the manufacturer is “transitioning” away from a partnership with the staffing company.

“Tuff Torq is dedicated to ensuring that their products and services are produced under ethical conditions, with a strong emphasis on fair labor practices, and Tuff Torq is further strengthening our relevant training and compliance programs,” he told NBC News. “We are also actively engaging with our suppliers to reinforce our expectations regarding ethical labor practices and collaborate with them on implementing our updated policies.”

In fiscal year 2023, the Labor Department investigated a staggering 955 child labor violation cases that involved 5,792 children.

Illegal alien labor, including child labor, has become a significant problem in the U.S. because of President Joe Biden’s open-border policies. Many companies have hired illegal aliens under the table, which allows them to mistreat and overwork the employees because they are too afraid of deportation to speak out about their working conditions.

The issue of illegal alien labor has been in the news more frequently in recent weeks after it was revealed that Tyson Foods planned to hire thousands of illegal aliens in sanctuary states following a decision to close down a plant that employed hundreds of Americans.

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