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Can I sue my company for child labor violations?

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by lofreemister, Sep 14, 2018 at 8:31 PM.

  1. lofreemister

    lofreemister Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I recently turned 18. I’ve been working in a granite fabrication shop since I was 16, part time. I was hired in as a helper, clearing cutting tables using an overhead crane. As I progressed I learned and operated a granite saw by myself along with several other machines, all approved by my superiors. I recently thought about how dangerous the job is and how many times I could’ve been badly hurt. I found that they had been violating child labor laws under the “hazardous occupations clause”.
    My question is, if I were in a position to do so, would I be able to sue the company for negligence? If so, what kind of evidence etc. would I need to do so? Could I legally be fired for attempting to do this? Thanks.
    Thanks.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In Michigan it appears the Federal DoL investigates violation of child labor laws in Michigan.

    Enforcement | U.S. Department of Labor


    However, before you contemplate this action further, I suggest you read this:

    Minors under the age of 18 cannot be employed or permitted to work, with or without pay, volunteer or independent contractor until the person, company, business, firm or corporation proposing to employ the minor obtains and keeps on file at minor's place of employment (work location) a current and valid age and color appropriate work permit, which has been issued by a state of Michigan issuing officer of the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy or nonpublic school prior to starting work.

    Compulsory School Attendance "...The law in Michigan governing compulsory attendance requires a parent, legal guardian, or other person having control or charge of a child...who was age eleven before that date and entered grade 6 in 2009 or later shall attend school from age six to eighteen..."

    Whether minor is:
    homeschool
    cyber school
    virtual school
    online school,
    obtaining G.E.D.
    out-of-state resident
    not attending school
    Minors under the age of 18 are required to have a work permit prior to starting work.

    If a minor comes from another state to work in Michigan, the minor should bring a certified birth certificate and an unofficial transcript from the out-of-state school attended which includes the school's complete name, address, city, state, zip code, county and telephone number.


    Perhaps you might wish to take a look at your state's child labor laws:

    MDE - Youth Employment/Child Labor Laws

    https://www.michigan.gov/documents/Brochure90_30634_7.12-01.doc

    Michigan Employers and Parents Should Know the Rules to Keep Teens Safe at Work this Summer: Nemeth Law, P.C.

    Violators of the child labor provisions are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $10,000 for each employee who was the subject of a violation. Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation.


    Did you obtain the proper child work permits?

    An employer can fire you without explanation, reason, or justification.

    That said, if you open this can of worms, I suspect your services will be terminated summarily.
     
  3. lofreemister

    lofreemister Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I did receive a work permit along with school co-op during my senior year. The HR department helped to cover up what I was "actually" doing at the company, but I suppose I would be equally guilty in that sense.
     
  4. lofreemister

    lofreemister Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've also found that they were indeed violating at least 2 child labor laws, but I have found no answer as to whether or not an individual can sue their employer without involving osha or the DoL.
     
  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I can find nothing to suggest that you have a option to sue. Your option is to report to the appropriate enforcement agencies; i.e. the DOL.
     
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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A minor is never GUILTY of anything unless bound over to be tried by an adult court.

    Minors can only be adjudicated, never convicted when brought before a juvenile court.

    In your scenario, you were mislead, uninformed, naive; but guilty of nothing.

    Your parents or guardians, that is another story.

    If what happened to you bothers you, it might be best to quit your job, get another job, and then report the alleged abuses committed by the employer to the applicable state agency or federal agency.
     
  7. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    Then be ready to be fired... Unreal that you would seek to sue a place that was trying to help teach you a trade. My father entered the Navy at 16 since his birth year was wrong on his birth cert. But we grew men back then. The youth of today is AMAZING.
     
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  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I don't really understand the phrasing of this question, but anyone can sue anyone for anything. However, since you don't appear to have been injured, you have nothing to sue for. You can, of course, report your employer's actions to the state department of labor and can do so anonymously.
     
  9. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    You can report them but you don't have any damages to sue for. You don't sue someone because you might have been hurt.
     

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