Roofing Company Faces Hefty Fines for Violating Child Labor Laws After Fatal Fall of Teen Worker

Cullman, Alabama – A roofing company in Cullman, Alabama is facing a hefty fine of $117,175 from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for violating child labor laws following the tragic death of a teenage worker. The DOL found that Apex Roofing & Restoration LLC employed a 15-year-old who suffered a fatal fall while working on a roof.

The incident took place on July 1, 2019, at a building owned by Cullman Casting Corporation. The young worker fell approximately 50 feet and sustained severe injuries, including fractures to the skull, ribs, and wrist. Sadly, the employee was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a press release from the DOL on Feb. 7, 2024, Apex Roofing’s employment of the minor was in direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child labor hazardous occupation order. This order prohibits the employment of individuals under 18 in high-risk jobs such as roofing and construction. As a result, the company was fined under the child labor enhanced penalty program, which aims to impose stricter penalties on violations leading to the death or serious injury of minor workers.

Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman condemned Apex Roofing’s actions and emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of young workers. Looman stated that the company put the child’s life at risk and caused an unnecessary and preventable tragedy. The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL is dedicated to combatting illegal child labor and holding violators accountable.

In the fiscal year 2023, the Wage and Hour Division conducted over 950 investigations into child labor violations, resulting in over $8 million in penalties. This highlights the importance of enforcing labor laws to protect minors from dangerous work environments.

The consequences that Apex Roofing now faces serve as a reminder for other companies to adhere to child labor regulations and prioritize the safety of all employees. The DOL’s enhanced penalty program aims to prevent further tragedies and ensure that minors are not subject to hazardous work conditions.

Safeguarding young workers is crucial, and it falls upon employers to comply with the laws in place. The tragic loss of this teenage employee underscores the need for continued efforts to eradicate illegal child labor and prevent future incidents.