Meat processor agrees to reform hiring after two teens were found at a Minnesota plant

Jul 7, 2023, 11:27 AM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A second company involved in meat processing has agreed to reform its hiring practices after investigators recently discovered teenagers working there.

The Labor Department said Friday that Monogram Foods will pay a more than $30,000 fine as part of an agreement reached after a 16-year-old and 17-year-old were found to be working at the Memphis, Tennessee-based company’s Chandler, Minnesota, plant. Officials also ordered the company not to ship any products produced while the teens were employed at the plant that makes a variety of meat snacks, but normal operations resumed once they were fired.

Earlier this year, a separate investigation found more than update its hiring practices after investigators confirmed at least 102 kids were working for the company at 13 meat processing plants nationwide.

The Labor Department said it would focus on the problem in response to that PSSI investigation and a nationwide 69% increase in the number of children found to be employed illegally across all industries since 2018. The Biden administration also urged all meat processing companies to make sure children aren’t being hired to do dangerous work at their plants.

“The Department of Labor and the Biden-Harris administration see child labor as a scourge in this country and will not tolerate violations of child labor laws,” Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said.

Monogram Foods said in a statement that the investigation found only two out of more than 400 workers at the plant were underage and that it appears they used falsified documents to get hired. An audit didn’t find any other juveniles working at Monogram’s 12 other plants in Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Our company does not want, and has a zero-tolerance policy for, ineligible underage labor and we have fully cooperated with this process,” Monogram Foods said. “We take our legal obligations and our longstanding commitment to compliance very seriously, and immediately terminated the two ineligible workers.”

The company that employs about 4,000 people nationwide produces a variety of private label meat snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, corn dogs and other convenience products. It is owned by private equity firm Pritzker Private Capital.

Monogram agreed to hire a consultant to review its hiring practices, recommend any needed changes and monitor compliance with labor laws at all the company’s plants over the next two years. The company said it also tightened up its hiring practices and will train managers to help them spot any possible underage workers.

Monogram said it will also set up a hotline where employees can anonymously report any concerns about labor law violations.

National News

Associated Press

A woman died after falling from a cliff at a Blue Ridge Parkway scenic overlook in North Carolina

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman died after falling from a scenic overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina, according to the National Park Service. Park service dispatchers received a report of a woman who fell down a steep cliff at Glassmine Falls Overlook on Saturday afternoon, officials said […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Not again. Federal workers who’ve weathered past government shutdowns brace for yet another ordeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Hubert, an airport security officer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recalls helping fellow Transportation Security Administration workers get essentials from food banks when they worked without pay during the last government shutdown. By the end of the 35-day ordeal, he needed the same help himself. Steve Reaves, a union leader for workers […]

2 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in Wi...

Associated Press

Hunter Biden sues Rudy Giuliani and another lawyer over accessing and sharing of his personal data

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani and another attorney Tuesday, saying the two wrongly accessed and shared his personal data after obtaining it from the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop. The lawsuit was the latest in a new strategy by Hunter Biden to strike back against Republican allies of Donald Trump, […]

2 hours ago

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court, June 8, 2020, in Washington. The Supreme Court is allowing work to p...

Associated Press

The Supreme Court will let Alabama’s congressional map be redrawn to better represent Black voters

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the drawing of a new Alabama congressional map with greater representation for Black voters to proceed. The new districts also could help Democrats trying to flip control of the House of Representatives. The justices, without any noted dissent, rejected the state’s plea to retain Republican-drawn lines […]

2 hours ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

3 hours ago

Alyssa Milligan participates in the Bike Ride Across Wilson County in conjunction with the Tennesse...

Associated Press

New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Alyssa Milligan was someone who intuitively knew when another person needed help, encouragement or a kind word. Although she was new to Tennessee, the 23-year old physical therapy student, whose mother called her “Sweet Alyssa,” had already made many close connections, especially within the tight-knit cycling community around Nashville — before […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Meat processor agrees to reform hiring after two teens were found at a Minnesota plant