AUSTIN, TX – A federal investigation has found an Austin landscape supply company, where a 17-year-old employee suffered serious injuries in a forklift incident in June 2021, allowed them to work in hazardous and prohibited occupations in violation of federal child labor law.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found New Age Rocks Inc., operating as Round Rock Landscape Supplies, permitted the minor to use a forklift and operate a skid steer loader in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s protections for young workers. The division assessed the employer $34,355 in penalties for their infractions.
The division also recovered $1,950 for two employees denied overtime by the employer who paid straight time for all hours worked including hours over 40 in a workweek. The employer also failed to keep accurate time records and dates of birth for minor-aged employees. These actions also violated the FLSA.
“New Age Rocks Inc. disregarded the law and a 17-year-old employee suffered injuries needlessly while doing work the law forbids them from doing,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicole Sellers in Austin, Texas. “The employer also shortchanged two employees by ignoring their legal obligation to pay overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek.”
“As this case shows, the U.S. Department of Labor will take action to hold employers who jeopardize the safety of young workers and deprive workers of their full wages accountable,” Sellers added.
Based in Austin, New Age Rocks Inc. has been a landscape stone supplies retailer since 2012. The employer cooperated fully with investigators, changed its practices to comply with the law and paid the $34,355 in civil money penalties.
In 2022, the Wage and Hour Division found more than 3,800 minors employed in violation of child labor laws, an increase of 37 percent over the previous year. Minors employed in violation of hazardous orders were up 26 percent in the same period, with a total of 688 minors found to be working in hazardous occupations.
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division including its search tool to learn if you are owed back wages collected by the division. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free.
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