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Packers Sanitation Services Inc., headquartered in Kieler, Wisconsin, illegally employed at least 102 children in hazardous jobs, some of whom worked overnight shifts, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. 

The investigation found “systemic” child labor violations covering minors between the ages of 13 and 17 in 13 meat processing facilities across eight states. At least three minors suffered injuries as a result of work for PSSI, the labor department said. 

PSSI paid $1.5 million in civil penalties — $15,138 for each illegally employed minor — in addition to agreeing to take measures to comply with child labor provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

PSSI said in a statement to CBS that it maintains a company-wide “zero-tolerance” policy for employing minors and that none of the minors investigated work at the company today. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


US Department of Labor: More than 100 children illegally employed in hazardous jobs, federal investigation finds; food sanitation contractor pays $1.5M in penalties

US Department of Labor: Dec. 6 consent order and judgment

CBS News: Meat-plant contractor hired kids to clean ‘razor-sharp saws’ with chemicals, government says

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.