Hyundai Supplier in Alexander City Accused of Using Child Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing a Hyundai supplier in Alexander City of using child labor.
It has filed a complaint against SL Alabama in federal court in the Middle District of Alabama, saying the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act since November 29, 2021, by “employing oppressive child labor” under the age of 16.
SL Alabama was established in 2003 and makes headlights, rear combination lights and side mirrors, according to its website, which says it employs about 650 people.
Alabama News Network is working to get a statement from SL Alabama. In a statement to Reuters, the company said that children had worked at the plant, but that they had been hired by an outside labor recruitment firm, according to the Reuters report.
The lawsuit was accompanied by a proposed settlement. A lawyer for the company signed the consent decree in which the company agreed to not hire underage workers, verify the ages of workers hired through a staffing agency and to fire or discipline any managers aware of the use of underage workers.
A federal judge has not yet signed off on the agreement.
It is not known how many children may have worked at the plant or what types of jobs they performed.
SMART Alabama has denied those allegations. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has said that it does not tolerate any illegal employment practices at any company entity in response to the SMART Alabama allegations.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama operates an assembly plant in Montgomery that has produced several Hyundai models since 2005.
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)