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Georgia Contractor Held Accountable for Child Labor and Worker Misclassification Violations in Pennsylvania


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) recently collected a $22,150 fine from a Georgia-based contractor for violations of the Pennsylvania Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (Act 72) and the Pennsylvania Child Labor Act following an October 2022 incident in which a 17-year-old worker fell 24 feet from a New Castle home improvement store's roof. As a result of the fall from the roof, the 17-year-old survivor was air-lifted from the site of the accident for medical treatment.

L&I's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance (BLLC) levied $13,600 in administrative penalties against JVS Roofing LLC (JVS) for failure to obtain working papers and provide proper breaks for child workers. Pennsylvania's Child Labor Act requires working papers for all children and that all children receive at least a 30-minute break every five hours.

Currently, the BLLC has 27 investigators to cover all 67 counties in Pennsylvania – that's why Governor Josh Shapiro's proposed 2023-2024 budget includes funding for eight more labor law compliance investigators to further protect Pennsylvania's children and workers.

Pennsylvania's Child Labor Act safeguards young workers' welfare and safety by regulating the employment of children under 18. The law stipulates maximum hours and allowable work times and prohibits minors from engaging in hazardous occupations, such as roofing. With very limited exceptions, Pennsylvania law prohibits the employment of minors under the age of 14.

L&I also fined JVS $8,550 for misclassifying nine workers as independent contractors. Act 72, which went into effect in 2011, protects construction employees from the loss of protections and benefits that happens when employers misclassify employees as independent contractors.

In addition to L&I's enforcement action, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has collected $6,399 in fines against JVS under child labor provisions contained within the federal Fair Labor Standards Act -- a federal law that runs parallel to Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Act and Child Labor Act – and $92,640 in backpay for workers who were misclassified as independent contractors.

Since 2011, L&I has cited 927 construction contractors for violations of Act 72 and collected more than $3 million in fines. L&I's enforcement of Act 72 aims to ensure that misclassified workers can access the unemployment and workers' compensation benefits to which they are entitled.

L&I is urging employers to familiarize themselves with Pennsylvania's Child Labor Act and Pennsylvania's Construction Workplace Misclassification Act to ensure that they are in full compliance.

How to Submit a Complaint

L&I's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance responds to complaints filed by members of the public who suspect violations of the Child Labor Act, Construction Workplace Misclassification Act and other Pennsylvania labor laws. Anyone can file a complaint on L&I's website using an online submission form.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit the website or follow L&I on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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