Hyundai Sued Over Child Labor

( – The US Department of Labor has accused Hyundai and two of its supplier companies of illegally employing a 13-year-old child. This child reportedly worked up to 60 hours a week on an assembly line in Alabama.

The child worked on machines that shaped sheet metal into car body parts from summer 2021, all the way until February of 2022.

According to the complaint, a staffing agency called Best Practice placed the child at SMART Alabama, a company that supplies car parts to Hyundai. The Department of Labor alleges that all three companies were involved in this illegal employment and violated child labor laws from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The complaint seeks to compel the companies to forfeit any profits gained from the use of child labor and to prohibit future employment of underage workers. This legal action follows a series of Reuters investigations into the use of child labor by Hyundai and its suppliers in Alabama.

The Department of Labor has released a statement expressing shock that a 13-year-old child was working on the assembly line. In the statement they further reiterated that child labor is taken very seriously and that they are committed to making sure all employers in the US closely follow labor laws.

Hyundai cooperated with the investigation but denied responsibility for the child’s employment. Upon learning of the violation, Hyundai claimed they acted immediately to address the issue and prevent anything like this from happening again.

Hyundai explained that as soon as they were made aware of the situation, they immediately attempted to terminate relationships with the staffing agency responsible for employing the child. They placed the blame on the staffing agency, explaining that it failed to follow US labor laws.

SMART Alabama declined to comment when contacted by any journalists or news sources. Best Practice, the staffing agency, also did not make any official comments on the matter.

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