For Immediate Release: August 5, 2008
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646
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Agriprocessors’ Child Labor Investigation Complete;
DES MOINES – The Iowa Labor Commissioner’s Office has completed an intensive child labor investigation at Agriprocessors, Inc. in Postville. The investigation, which spanned several months, has produced 57 cases, with multiple child labor violations in each case. A second portion of the investigation is still pending which may lead to additional cases.
Turned Over to Iowa Attorney General’s Office for Prosecution
“The investigation brings to light egregious violations of virtually every aspect of Iowa’s child labor laws,” indicated Dave Neil, Iowa Labor Commissioner. “It is my recommendation that the Attorney General’s Office prosecute these violations to the fullest extent of the law.”
Agriprocessors alleged violations include working minors in prohibited occupations, failure to obtain work permits, exceeding the allowable hours to work youth, exposure to hazardous chemicals, working with prohibited tools and others. Iowa’s child labor laws indicate that every day during which a violation of the chapter continues, shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
Under Iowa Law, child labor investigations are turned over to the county attorney’s office for prosecution, however the county may choose to turn the case(s) over to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. The Allamakee County Attorney’s Office had previously indicated to the department their desire to turn the case directly over to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office is still in process of conducting an investigation into general wage violations at the Postville plant.