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February 14, 2005

Wal-Mart & child labor laws

From New York NewsDay:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, will pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it broke child labor laws, the Labor Department said Saturday.

The 24 violations, which occurred at stores in Arkansas, Connecticut and New Hampshire, had to do with teenage workers who used hazardous equipment such as a chain saw, paper balers and fork lifts.

Wal-Mart denied the allegations but agreed to pay the penalty.

One of two things has happened here: A. Wal-Mart violate the law but got a slap on the wrist B. Wal-Mart didn't violate the law and the Labor Department extorted money from them.

Either way it hardly serves the best interest of the nation to have the Labor Department playing games like this. If Wal-Mart broke the law then give them a fine that'll make them pay attention. I doubt Wal-Mart pays less than $135,540 to stock the bathrooms in all their stores with toilet paper. This sounds much more like one of those pretend cases which serve solely to further someone's career and has absolutely nothing to do with protecting kids who work at Wal-Mart.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 14, 2005 08:38 AM

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