Shore plant is fined as child labor violator


December 13, 1997

The U.S. Department of Labor said yesterday that it is assessing a $14,100 fine against a Chestertown poultry processing plant for child labor violations.

Mark L. Fisher, president of Chestertown Foods Inc., said the plant had not violated any rules and would appeal the fine to an administrative hearing. "We followed all applicable hiring practices, including requiring identification," he said.

The Labor Department cited Chestertown Foods for 24 violations, involving hiring nine workers ages 13 to 15 years. It is against the law, the department said, for the plant to hire anyone under 14 and to assign such dangerous work as chicken deboning to anyone under 16.

Some of the youngsters were working as much as 40 hours a week during the school year, although the law limits workers that age to 18 hours a week during school, the department said.

The plant has terminated the underage workers and agreed to comply with the law, the department said.

The food processing operation opened about a year ago with the aid of of a $1.5 million low-interest loan from the state's community development block grant program.

Pub Date: 12/13/97

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