HAMMONTON, N.J. - The U.S. Labor Department says it has settled a case with a Hammonton blueberry farm cited for labor violations, including hiring a 9-year-old.
Fruit Farms Inc. agreed to pay more than $28,000 in civil penalties and has upgraded its housing facilities for migrant workers as part of the settlement.
The farm illegally employed three children between 9 and 11 years old, according to the Labor Department. The farm also was cited for having overcrowded housing, failing to transport workers safely, and failing to make sure that drivers were licensed, among other violations.
The settlements, reached in January and May, were not announced until Wednesday because the Labor Department wanted the case to be finalized first, spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins said. No one answered the phone at the company's headquarters Wednesday afternoon. - AP