Auto parts manufacturer accused of using child labor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal officials this week accused a Korean-owned auto parts company that supplies Hyundai and Kia of violating federal child labor laws at an Alabama factory.
The U.S. Department of Labor filed a federal lawsuit Monday in Montgomery accusing SL Alabama of hiring workers under age 16 at its Alexander City factory.
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.
The company’s website says the factory employs about 650 people and is a large manufacturer of headlights, rear combination lights and side mirrors for Hyundai and Kia.
The lawsuit comes after a report by Reuters accused the auto parts supplier of using child labor at a plant in Luverne, Alabama.
An email to the attorney representing SL Alabama was not immediately returned. Hyundai issued a statement saying, “Hyundai does not tolerate illegal employment practices in any Hyundai entity. We have policies and procedures in place that require compliance with all local, state, and federal laws.”