Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)...,
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why ask why...,
the New Standard reports:
In total, eleven $300 fines have been assessed against the company for breaking child labor laws at three stores in Connecticut. Employees under the age of eighteen were found to regularly work late at night and with machinery, both prohibited by federal and state law.
Connecticut began the investigation shortly after February’s deal between the US Department of Labor and Wal-Mart over alleged child labor law violations at stores in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire. The much criticized agreement calls for the company to pay $135,540.
Many groups denounced that settlement as a "sweetheart deal" for Wal-Mart because of the low dollar amount of the fines and a provision giving the company fifteen days’ advance notice before a federal investigation begins. The settled fine is roughly half of what the DoJ could have sought in court.
By law, the maximum fine a company can receive for each instance of breaking child labor laws in Connecticut is $300.
300 bucks! Woo hoo! Take that, Evil Corporation!!
Fuck's sake, they're working high school students late at night, and then expect people to applaud when they dish out a few million for scholarships? I bet the kids wanted to work late nights so they could save up for college ... with a minimum wage job.
Summer after I graduated highschool I took a string of construction jobs all paying in a relatively decent starting range of 8-14 dollars an hour - the state contracts were generally in the upper end, though most of the time I was just slogging 70 pound buckets of stucko up tiers of scaffolding. By the end of the summer I had maybe two or three grand saved, all of which was subsequently subtracted from my financial aid package. I found this terribly annoying, until meeting the wealthier segments of my entering class and listening to their tales of how they'd burned through good chunks of their parents' wallets travelling to far and distant air conditioned hotels with their summers, none of whom seemed to have had any experiences of value beyond anecdotes about customs. Not customs as in cultural artifacts and the distinct societal patterns that add some variety and richness to human experience, but customs as in customs agents. Apparently there was nothing interesting about the places they visited past the airports. There's something to be said for realizing the comparative value of money poorly spent on useless human capital. At least I got a workout and met some people who weren't tourists.