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Hy-Vee, Fareway, others accused of child labor violations

(Radio Iowa) – More than two-dozen grocery stores in Iowa and Nebraska are being accused of violating child labor laws. Scott Allen, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor, says the list includes several Hy-Vee and Fareway stores, in addition to many smaller chains and individual supermarkets.

Allen says, “They’re allowing the youth ages 14 to 17 to do basically hazardous jobs that are not allowed for any teenager to do.” The stores have agreed to pay the fines, which totaled nearly $130,000. As part of the settlement, a seminar was conducted at the Hy-Vee company headquarters 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 singled out 20 Iowa stores for violations, including Hy-Vee stores in: Boone, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Urbandale, Waterloo and West Des Moines, and Fareway stores in: Ames, Clive, New Hampton, Norwalk, Ottumwa, Toledo and Webster City. Others include B-and-B Grocery in Des Moines, Big G Foods in Marengo, Buy Rite Foods in Lake Park, Bender’s Foods in Denver, Fiesta Foods in Hawarden, Truncks Country Foods in Reinbeck, and McNally’s Foods in Grinnell.