A Nebraska cattle auction will pay over $46,000 in penalties for 26 child labor violations after a stampeding calf crushed a 15-year-old girl against a metal gate.
The child was herding cattle for Valentine Livestock Auction Co. when a calf weighing over 600 pounds charged. She was airlifted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where she recovered for 40 days.
The incident prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. According to a release, the investigation found 26 violations related to job responsibilities given to minors, some of whom were under the legal age of employment.
"This case is another clear example of why it is critical for employers to keep minors safe on the job by learning and complying with America's child labor laws," said Michael Staebell, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Des Moines Area Office in Iowa, which conducted the investigation.
The Valentine Livestock Auction Co. was following standards set for the FLSA’s child labor in agriculture regulations rather than the regulations pertaining to nonagricultural employers. Once the company found it did not meet classification requirements as an agricultural employer it took steps to correct violations.
Fines totaling $46,602 have been paid in full.