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Department of Labor Accuses Alabama Hyundai Supplier of Employing Minors

Aug. 23, 2022
SL Alabama, LLC is the second Hyundai supplier in the state accused of using child labor in as many months.

Reuters reported Monday that the Department of Labor has accused a second Alabaman parts supplier with using child labor. The target of the lawsuit, SL Alabama LLC, is a U.S. supplier for Hyundai Motor Co., and the second Alabama-based Hyundai supplier in as many months to be accused of violating child labor practices.

According to the Department of Labor lawsuit, SL Alabama employed “minors under the age of 16” and engaged in “oppressive child labor,” which can refer either to employing children under 16 or children under 18 in notably hazardous environments like factories or mines.

In a statement to the news organization Reuters, which broke the story, SL Alabama admitted to employing children at its Alexander City, Alabama factory but blamed the hires on an unidentified labor recruitment firm.

“We fully cooperated with the investigation by the Department of Labor, and we are in the process of complementing our verification system so that minors will not work going forward,” SL Alabama told Reuters.

Hyundai, in an emailed statement, told Reuters it “does not tolerate illegal employment practices in any Hyundai entity.”

The lawsuit lands a month after another Reuters report accused a different Alabama Hyundai supplier, SMART Alabama LLC, of using child labor as well. According to local police and employees of the plant, SMART Alabama’s Montgomery, Alabama metal stamping plant employed children as young as 12 years old. Unlike SL Alabama, SMART has denied that it knowingly used child labor.   

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