Canton, North Carolina employed two minors to operate chainsaws and to ride in the back of a dump truck while removing overhead tree branches on a residential street – tasks deemed too hazardous for young workers, according to child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA).

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Canton, North Carolina, paid a civil penalty of $7,060 for violating the FLSA.

The town did not possess a student learner or apprenticeship exemption for the minors.

"Child labor laws exist to strike a balance between providing meaningful work experience for young people and keeping them safe on the job," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. "This case should serve to remind employers of the importance of preventing employees under the age of 18 from participating in prohibited work. We encourage all employers to review their employment obligations and to contact the Wage and Hour Division for compliance assistance."

For more information about the FLSA, child labor, and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.