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Details of accusations of alleged child labor law violations against SMART Alabama LLC®, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co®
According to area police, the family of three underage workers, and eight former and current employees of the factory, SMART Alabama LLC® — a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co® — has allegedly used child labor at a plant that supplies parts for the Korean carmaker's assembly line in nearby Montgomery, Alabama.
Underage workers, in some cases as young as 12, have been reported to have recently worked at a metal stamping plant creating parts for some of the most popular cars and SUVs built by the automaker in its flagship U.S. assembly plant in Montgomery.
According to Reuters®, the story of the children came to light following the recent disappearance of a 14-year-old Guatemalan migrant child in Alabama — with the news service reporting that the child and her two brothers, aged 12 and 15, all allegedly worked for the plant.
Alabama and federal laws restrict minors under age 18 from working around dangerous machinery, while Alabama law requires children 17 and under to be enrolled in school.
SMART Alabama LLC® said in a statement that it follows federal, state, and local laws and “denies any allegation that it knowingly employed anyone who is ineligible for employment.”
However, according to former employees, after the publicity generated by the February disappearance case, SMART® reportedly dismissed several underage workers.
The DLG For Me team urges victims of alleged child labor violations by subsidiaries of Hyundai Motor Co® to get a free, private case evaluation.
Specific allegations of child labor law violations against SMART Alabama LLC®, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co®
Labor recruiters as well as current and former employees at the plant allegedly told Reuters that many of the minors found employment at SMART® through recruitment agencies.
While there are staffing agencies that are above-board, critics say that hiring through these agencies can be a workaround to shift blame onto the agency when it comes to determining whether an employee is eligible to work.
Additional specific allegations of child labor law violations against SMART Alabama LLC® include:
- One former worker at SMART®, an adult migrant who left for another auto industry job last year, allegedly said there were around 50 underage workers between the different plant shifts, adding that he knew some of them personally.
- Another former adult worker at SMART®, a U.S. citizen who also left the plant last year, allegedly said she worked alongside about a dozen minors on her shift.
- Another former employee, Tabatha Moultry, allegedly remembered working with one migrant girl in 2019 who "looked 11 or 12 years old" that would come to work with her mother. When Moultry asked her real age, the girl allegedly said she was 13. "She was way too young to be working in that plant, or any plant," Moultry said.
When asked for comment, a Hyundai® representative provided an official statement to The Drive: "Hyundai does not tolerate illegal employment practices in any Hyundai entity. We have policies and procedures in place that require compliance with all local, state, and federal laws."
The DLG For Me team believes that victims of alleged child labor violations by subsidiaries of Hyundai Motor Co® should receive justice and compensation for losses.
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