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U.S. Department of Labor Finds Thousands of Child Labor Violations

The US Department of Labor has found thousands of violations and is currently investigating the death of a 16-year-old boy from Guatemala, Duvan Tomas Perez, who was killed on the job at a slaughterhouse this month in Mississippi.


Two other 16-year-olds have died on the job in the US this year. Michael Schuls was killed on June 29 while working for a sawmill in Wisconsin. He was caught and pinned by a conveyor belt. Will Hampton was killed in Missouri on June 8 when he was pinned between a tractor trailer rig and its trailer.


The U.S. Department of Labor states it is currently pursuing more than 700 open cases and already found 4,474 children working illegally since the beginning of the fiscal year, a 44% increase over the previous year.


On July 25, the Department of Labor announced child labor violations found at 16 McDonald’s franchises in Louisiana and Texas, affecting 83 minors.


The McDonald’s locations were found to have permitted 14- and 15-year-olds to work longer hours than legally permitted and perform job tasks that children under the age of 16 are prohibited from performing.


The investigation follows a May 2023 announcement of child labor violations found at McDonald’s locations in four states involving over 300 children at 62 restaurant locations.


Republican lawmakers in states such as Arkansas and Iowa passed legislation earlier this year to loosen child labor laws, for example - expanding the scope of work and hours of work 14- and 15-year-olds can perform.

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