Department of Labor Finds Multiple Child Labor Violations at Common Sense Farm as a Result of Twelve Tribes Investigation

Source: Department of Labor (DOL)

Violations could result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines
Eight Additional Investigations Opened for Other Twelve Tribes Entities in NY

Albany, NY (June 05, 2018) -

Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon today announced the preliminary results of an ongoing investigation into the Twelve Tribes community located in Cambridge, NY, based on an Inside Edition(IE) investigative report that aired on Friday, 6/1/18. The IE video showed children as young as six years old being put to work in farm and factory settings.

On Monday, June 5, an investigative team from the Department of Labor Worker Protection unit conducted an on-site investigation at Common Sense Farm. The team found multiple violations involving 12 minors who were engaged in factory work, which is prohibited.

As a result of these violations, the DOL has opened cases that could result in significant fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“Every child under the age of 18 in this state has a right to be protected by the Child Labor Law, and we take our enforcement responsibilities seriously,” said Commissioner Reardon. “Children are our most valuable asset and compliance with the Child Labor Law is not discretionary – it’s mandatory.”

As part of the investigation, The Department of Labor also educated the owners about child labor standards.

DOL is also investigating the following 12-Tribes related entities across NYS:

  • Community in Coxsackie, 20 South River Street, Coxsackie
  • Community in Oak Hill, Route 81 Box 81A, Oak Hill
  • The Yellow Deli, 7771 State Route 81, Oak Hill
  • The Yellow Deli, 134 Main St, Oneonta
  • Community in Oneonta, 81 Chestnut Street, Oneonta
  • Community in Ithaca, 119 3rd Street, Ithaca
  • Maté Factor, 143 East State Street, Ithaca
  • Community in Hamburg, 329 Buffalo St., Hamburg

New York has some of the best child labor protections in the U.S. The law restricts the hours that children can work, requires working papers for each child, limits the age at which children can perform certain types of work, prohibits assisting in dangerous occupations or using certain types of machinery, and imposes other requirements.

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