Texas company got teen to do prohibited work, leading to injury. Business fined $34K

Courtesy: U.S. Department of Labor

Federal authorities assessed more than $34,000 in penalties to a Texas landscape supply company for allowing a 17-year-old to work in a hazardous job that left him seriously injured in June 2021.

The teen was injured in a forklift incident when he worked for Round Rock Landscape Supplies, which was operated by New Age Rocks Inc. in Austin.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found New Age Rocks Inc., operating as Round Rock Landscape Supplies, permitted the minor to use a forklift and operate a skid steer loader in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s protections for young workers.

“New Age Rocks Inc. disregarded the law and a 17-year-old employee suffered injuries needlessly while doing work the law forbids them from doing,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nicole Sellers in Austin in a news release this week.

The division also recovered $1,950 for two employees denied overtime by the employer who paid straight time for all hours worked including hours over 40 in a workweek. The employer also failed to keep accurate time records and dates of birth for minor-aged employees. These actions also violated the FLSA.

“As this case shows, the U.S. Department of Labor will take action to hold employers who jeopardize the safety of young workers and deprive workers of their full wages accountable,” Sellers said.

The employer cooperated fully with investigators, changed its practices to comply with the law and paid the $34,355 in civil money penalties, according to federal officials.

New Age Rocks Inc. has been a landscape stone supplies retailer since 2012.